Day two brought lots of sunshine and more heat to the five boroughs of Manhattan, and a way-too-early wake up call from my internal alarm. I was already at a sleep deficit having been up since 5am the day before. I didn't get to sleep until after 2am, but despite the curtained windows, my asshole body clock woke me at 7am, which is pure BS. I know. You feel really bad for me. Please hold your sarcasm until BINGO has been called.
After a little nosh at the hotel, I headed into Manhattan to meet up with Greg, from Dallas. His son, Collin wanted to check out NYU, so we buzzed around the Flatiron building, Union Square and eventually Washington Park.
|Greg and I sitting in pub(l)ic art near Union Square|
|washington square arch|
surprisingly no skaters selling "snoopies"
|smart shit graffiti-the best kind|
Collin's a sweet kid. His sixteenth birthday was coming up, so this trip with his Dad was his present. We had a nice time tooling around together, catching up. Greg is a lawyer with clients all over. It's uncanny how he can schedule meetings in the very cities the Old 97's are playing... ;-)
Not wanting to squander the gift of a pool on a blistering day, I was Brooklyn and bathing suit bound. Cindy (from Pittsburgh) jumped in when she finally arrived later on. By that time, I had made pool friends and met a Pittsburgh ex-pat who grew up two miles from where we live now. She's lived in Arizona for 30 years, but happened to be visiting her son in Brooklyn. Burgher meet ups are a strange phenomena which occur all the time. We're everywhere.
|oh hey, did you know we had a pool?|
Human beings are funny. So we're all hanging out, in and around the pool. A lone, dark cloud perches overhead, and it starts to rain a bit. Half the people, who are wet already mind you, start freaking out and heading for cover. What the ef??!? WE ARE ALREADY WET!!! If you were made of sugar, you'd be melted by now. The other portion of folks left on deck... jumped in the pool. Again, what's that about? People. Are. Crazy.
Williamsburg is a really lovely section of Brooklyn. It's filled with little bistros, pubs and coffee shops. It's got a high hipster doofus factor, but not enough to detract from ones enjoyment. I felt safe walking around there even late into the night.
Cindy and I had the great pleasure of having dinner with Murry, the bass player at a charming sushi place on Bedford. We sat in the courtyard beneath an umbrella table and fruit-filled grape vines. The conversation spanned numerous topics, kids, gardening, demos for the new record coming up. I thought about recording his thoughts about their newest project to post on the 97's website, but didn't want to interrupt the flow and dampen the evening.
So, naturally as we get up to leave, it starts to rain. Fortunately, it wasn't raining that hard and was super warm. The drops felt refreshing. Besides, there was no pool to jump into. I still don't get that.
The cool thing about these road trips is at this point in the game, there's always someone I know. We chatted with the front-row gang (George, Maria, Tina, Denise). Philip stopped by to chat on his way backstage. Both he and Ken had brought their families with them. I was lucky enough to meet Philip's family unit the last day. The kids are beautiful and his wife is tiny and gorgeous despite having had two children. I kinda hate her a little. I kid. No, really. Kinda hate her.
|too much hawt for the room|
Anywho... Cindy, Tracey and I planted ourselves Murry side again near the end of the opener's tedious set. We had good luck the night before with a roomier corner and cooler air flow. Evening number two was dedicated to their second effort, Wreck Your Life. There are a number of personal favorites on this one, including my all-time favorite, Bel Air. I already have a fantastic video of the blue-eyed lovely giving me a smile during the intro so there was no need to record that one, but I was anxious to capture You Belong to My Heart and Old Familiar Steam... because I'm a ginormous nerd.
A song's whose rhythm is custom made for Mr. M's signature hip sway...
Gorgeous. I don't know how Rhett can hit that beautiful falsetto after all the rock and roll growling. I'm STILL hoarse after a week.
Tonight when they took the stage during Fat Bottomed Girls, the increased energy was palpable. They were charged up, putting an extra umph into every song. Rhett broke a couple strings and was extra fervent with his head bangs, pogo jumps and long notes. Ken grinded his guitars into the faces of those in the front row. Murry was extra bouncy, and Philip was crazy good with the backbeat. The very definition of "hard-charging." The four of them are so much fun to watch. Clearly they all had a great day with their family and friends. The audience was right there with them for the ride.
These four Texas gents were definitely having a blast on stage. There was lot of playfulness -- Ken teasing Murry and Philip not to screw up the intro to Por Favor, Rhett back-to-back with Murry yukking it up, Rhett drinking a tiny bottle of Jameson as if he were a giant.
The second part of the setlist was packed with GREAT stuff...Jagged, Busted Afternoon, No Baby I (where the title of this bloggity comes from. I know I have absolutely nothing to do with its placement on the list, but I pretend he's playing it just for me), the ever-rockin' Smokers and Won't Be Home, finally unleashing the full-metal jacket on the master set closer, Four Leaf Clover.
The show was riveting! High on the list of best concerts. Even Mike, their tour manager, was stoked about their performance and he's seen a zillion outings. People wonder why I go to so many 97's shows. They are amazing musicians, with enormous showmanship and boundless energy. They never EVER call it in, and it's never the same show twice.
Oh yeah, Rhett's long-time school friend, Robert Jenkins was present, and got a big shout out during Big Brown Eyes (in which he is mentioned for non-fans). AND Craig Finn from The Hold Steady was standing directly behind us in the VIP section. Kinda cool, right?
The end alwaysAlwaysALWAYS comes far too soon for my liking, but we all were happy campers. Sweaty, tired and sore, but very happy campers nonetheless. Thankfully, this run wasn't over yet. To quote Scarlet O'Hara, "tomorrow is another day."
|microphone photo bomb|
one of these damn days i'll capture this properly
Wreck Your Life
The Other Shoe
You Belong to My Heart
Big Brown Eyes
Dressing Room Walls
My Sweet Blue-Eyed Darlin'
Old Familiar Steam
Over the Cliff
Goin', Goin', Gone
Crash On the Barrelhead
No baby I
Can't Get a Line
Every Night Is Friday Night
Won't Be Home
4 Leaf Clover
Murder Or a Heart Attack ("you write one song about a kitty cat...")
Again, more photos on flickr.