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A Sing-Along and Still Going Strong

April 11th, 2011

Old 97’s – Webster Hall – April 9, 2011

Old 97’s - Webster Hall - April 9, 2011
Old 97’s, one of the mainstays of the alternative-country scene for the past two decades, packed Webster Hall full on Saturday night. From the spooky verses of “The Grand Theatre” to the rockabilly style of “West Texas Teardrops,” the band’s full range was on display throughout the set. The tireless Rhett Miller led Old 97’s with some upbeat banter and plenty of loud guitar. They reached deep into their vast discography to fill the nearly two-hour performance, pleasing those in the mostly older crowd, who gladly sang along to all the drinking songs.

Like a downhill-bound snowball gaining speed, the set turned looser, louder and much more fun as it went on, with Ken Bethea’s sizzling guitar solos and bassist Murry Hammond’s spot-on vocal harmonies filling the gaps in the frontman’s dominating presence. For those who stuck around the entire night, Miller offered a reward of a new song in the encore (which will be found on the album the band is set to record this year), and then Old 97’s finished with the always rambunctious “Time Bomb.” —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Andy Keilen | spartanmarchingband.smugmug.com/music