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Monday, July 19, 2010

Old 97's Return to the Burgh 
or my love of all things Old 97's/Rhett naseum
Warning: Epic blog post alert because clearly I'm in need of a good editor

Okay, so last night my favorite, hard-charging band of all time — fronted by my fantasy husband — cruised into town on a big black tour bus to blow the roof off a desanctified church known as Mr. Small's. 

And boy, did they ever!!! 

More on that later. 

Geo decided to stay home (I know, right? What?!) so my Old 97's virgin friend, Yoko, came along with me. We met up with our friends from New York, George and Maria to nosh a bit before the show. Pittsburgh was the last stop of George and Maria's three-day Olds adventure. They started in Chicago for a freebie at the Navy Pier, then hit Detroit and ended in Pittsburgh.

So get this. When we got out of the car at Mr. Small's, a lovely woman from Youngstown, Noreen approached me saying she recognized me from this ole bloggity blog and Twitter. (Hi Noreen! Thanks for reading!) How weird is that, huh? That's a first for me. The world is a very interesting place now. 

And then we met up with another fan from the area, Cindy, who Geo and I had met in Annapolis, of all places. So we all hung out and watched the show together. I have met so many nice people because of this band. It's true what they say --whoever the Hell "they" are. Great bands have great fans, and Old 97's fans are quite an amazing community.

The guys finally hit the stage after 9pm. Rhett gave a nod of recognition my way and Murry said hi to me as he took his place in front of his mic. (be still my beating heart) Then they launched right into Streets of Where I Live, getting the crowd moving on Ken's first guitar lick.

They bulldozed through their 24-song set list in a little over 90 minutes, elevating the audience of their faithful with enough energy to power a nuclear plant. Seriously. If you could harness their energy output, you could supply an entire town with electricity for a week.

They left out a couple of standards, mainly Roller Skate Skinny and Big Brown Eyes, but treated us to two new songs Champaign, Il and Every Night...

Crazy Headbanging New Song: Every Night

as well as several lesser played chestnuts like 504, Can't Get a Line (their homage to the Monkees), Melt Show, Here's to the Halcyon (I've been waiting a long time to hear this one!!) and my beloved Bel Air! I tweeted a request for that tune which they played as the encore opener. 


My favorite songwriter playing my beloved Bel Air
Check it out. He's looking for me. *swoon*

Thank you, Mr. Miller! I just love that song. I mean listen to these lyrics:

"Drowning in the back seat of a 61 Bel Air/ I got a mouthful of your hair/a handful of skin./Oh, I ain't suffocating/I'm just sick and tired of waitin'/Stop this pointless hesitatin'...and pull me in!"

Whew! Hand me a cigarette already. 

I think I love Bel Air so much because it transports me back to a time when it was all about passion and urgency and all Geo and I had was a car, if you know what I mean.  


Anywho, they did a terrific, passionate cover of David Bowie's "Five Years" then closed with another balls-to-wall rendition of Time Bomb. I know I say it every time, but the first chord of that song is so bittersweet. I never want an evening with the Old 97's to end. EVER!!
Time Bomb head bang-how does his brain not hurt?
Afterwards, only Rhett came out to meet the gathered crowd, chatting, taking photos, signing anything and everything. And I do mean anything. Another Internet bud of mine can't sew worth a darn (pun intended) but had to create a doll for her daughter. It's horrendous. She named it Ghetto Gumby, GG for short and she's sending it around the country. Rhett didn't even flinch when I asked him to take a picture with GG. He even signed it.
Rhett proving what a good sport he is
nestling with GG
Again. Do you see why I love him?

Yoko, Rhett-actular and ... nice bra chippie.
We ran into Murry while walking back to the car and had a delightful lengthy chat about his punk rock past & bands from the 60s San Francisco scene. He and Yoko reminisced at length about groups from that era. After standing in the welcomed gentle rain, the tour bus revved up and we knew it was time to call it a night. 

A night very well spent indeed.

in the rain with Murry

Love the mood of this shot

he looks so angelic here

one for my girlfriends

Melt Show now with groovy spit take

Here's to the Halcyon

The energetic 504
His skill at story telling is all over this one

4 Leaf Clover
You can tell this is the finale. Jesus! There's more water pouring off his nose than a waterfall! No one can ever accuse Rhett of dogging it during a performance. Come here, honey. let me wipe you off.


pugbo124 said...

Hi Marie,
Love the post...thanks for the shout-out. Love the pics and videos! Your camera is awesome. So nice meeting you last night. Noreen :)

Four Leaf Clover said...

Love it that Rhett is posing with the doll.. Hilarious!

demoncat said...

Love that you had a good time and hooked up again with your fantasty husband . also liked Rhett was willing to posed with Gheto gumby.