Concert Review: The Old 97’s at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN 06/20/2014

Old 97's MN ©JSP2014 (10)The Old 97’s haven’t lost any steam over their 20 years.  With ten albums and four EP’s (not to mention Rhett Miller’s five solo albums), The Old 97’s may just be the most productive band among their alt-country contemporaries.  Perpetually on the road, Miller, Murry Hammond and company brought their honky-tonk meets rock-n-roll swagger to Minneapolis’ First Avenue for an all ages show in support of their latest album, Most Messed Up.

The guys were in fine form, kicking off their lengthy set with pure energy.  The band gotOld 97's MN ©JSP2014 (14) the audience involved early with fan favorites, “If My Heart Was A Car” and “Dance with Me.”  Rhett Miller was all swagger, hip-shaking, head-banging and strumming guitar Pete Townsend-style during “Street of Where I’m From” and “Dance With Me.”  Miller switched back-and-forth on vocals with bassist Murry Hammond, whom was in excellent spirits; thanking the rabid Minneapolis fans who seemed equally exited for Hammond’s songs.

The new songs mixed seamlessly with the oldies as 97’s sprinkled half of their new album into the 27 song set.  The band appeared most satisfied with songs like “Iron Road”, which they reminisced on their collaboration with Waylon Jennings.  While there was no new ground to broke at First Avenue, fans ate up the set…singing and dancing along throughout the club.  The Old 97’s played a perfect soundtrack for some Friday night beer-guzzling fun.

Setlist:Old 97's MN ©JSP2014 (2)
If My Heart Was A Car
Streets Of Where I’m From
Dance With Me
Longer Than You’ve Been Alive
Jagged
The Ex of All You See
Bird In A Cage
Niteclub
Wheels Off
Iron Road
Friday Night
Question
Let The Whiskey Take The Reigns
Up the Devil’s Pay
Victoria
Guadalajara
Barrier Reef
Give It Time
Rollerskate Skinny
Line Dance
Big Brown Eyes
Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On
Dorreen
Four Leaf Clover
Messed Up
Career Opportunities
Time Bomb

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