I’ve been loving the Old 97s since 2006-ish, and we *finally* had a chance to see them live last night at Observatory OC. Marking the 15th Anniversary of their album Too Far to Care, the band played the entire album cover to cover, and followed that up with tons of other Old 9-7 hits. It was hands-down, the absolute best show of the summer.
Rhett opened for himself, offering up a killer acoustic set including his newest song “Lost Without You” and his smashing rendition of “Wreck of the Old 97” (recently featured in a special Johnny Cash Tribute.)
Not only was the performance amazing, it also set up his “real” opening band, Those Darlins, with a full house of fans who may not normally show up for the opening performer. (FYI: *Girl crush alert* – Those Darlins kicked *ass.* Part Hank III/part L7 – these girls tore it up! Check out “Waste Away” to fall in love with them like I did.)
About halfway through the show, Rhett introduced a surprise guest – none other than Exene Cervenka of the legendary 1970′s punk band X, who originally performed the song “Four Leaf Clover” with him on Too Far to Care back in the day. She played two songs before heading offstage. Coolest. Moment. Ever.
A security guard was sweet enough to nab the set list for us – and this is the rundown.
As if that weren’t awesome enough, on our way out we picked up a show poster … and woke up (in the light of day) to realize it’s personally signed by all the band members. Those guys literally signed each poster (ours was no. 61 in the batch of 350) just because it’s what they do – they give it up for their fans.
I cannot say enough how much I love those guys. Awesome music – awesome people – and a ridiculously awesome end to the summer.