Old 97’s (Too Far to Care): Brooklyn Bowl 29 June 2013

Wow. Another album (the one rated their best by most) all the way through. Hearing some songs three times in three days. And one song four times and three days. Yet I could have gone back to the Brooklyn Bowl the next night, and the next, and the next, and on to hear the Old 97’s perform. Plus we’d already heard this entire album on their Too Far to Care Tour and still could hear it again another night.

Big shout-out to the Old 97’s guitar tech/roadie. Every night he was getting the guitars ready, he set up the stage for them (helped by the Brooklyn Bowl crew), and had each needed guitar at the ready. And he never got a thank you from the band. Shame on you.

For this night the monitor engineer was a woman. It is still unusual to see women sitting behind the board – especially in clubs. So a shout-out to the Brooklyn Bowl for that.

I had a spot near Murry again because I find Ken to be scary. He’s a nice guy and I saw him talking to fans before the show – and he shook my hand and thanked me for coming after the show! – but when Ken is playing he is very intense.

Since the dance club didn’t get started until midnight, the opening act Via Audio didn’t come out until after 8:30pm. rtb and I could see them waiting behind the curtain and the drunk rowdy crowd was getting impatient. The crowd was much drunker than Friday night and not as much fun (from a not drunk fan’s perspective). The group next to me were celebrating a birthday and taking photos of each other giving the finger to the camera. Why adults think this is funny I will never know.

Jessica Martins (guitar, synthesizer, vocals), dressed in white lace-covered shorts, started a soundscape. Drummer Adam Sturtevant came in. Tom Deis (lead guitar, vocals), about 7 feet tall dressed in a vest, no shirt, jeans, and reddish brown boots over jeans, came in with his guitar. And then barefooted David Lizmi came in on bass. The Brooklyn-based band, originally from Boston, call themselves indie and have a record produced by Jim Eno (Spoon) but at first they sounded very new age-y to me. The later songs would start slowly and softly (sometimes with a Latin beat) then speed up and get very loud and then get soft and slow again. If there was a best song of the set that would probably be “Lizard Song” this is not a band that I would recommend.

Ken and Philip were watching and enjoyed them. And Martins came out for one song during the Old 97’s set to play tambourine. By the looks on the faces of the band, she had not been invited to do so.




I was too far from the Old 97’s set list to get a photo and this was the best I could get of Via Audio’s.


The Old 97’s made their entrance and went right into “Timebomb” from Too Far to Care. The couple behind me were thrilled earlier when they found out we would be hearing “Timebomb” twice that night.

Rhett was in great voice for “Timebomb.” Usually by the time we hear it he’s already hoarse. I’d love to recommend my voice teacher to him. She teaches heavy metal singers how to scream and yell without blowing out their voice. However, when he did “Rollerskate Skinny” his voice was beautiful at the end while it weaved around the melody. Something new for those us who had been there all three nights.

Repeating from before:

The band is Rhett Miller (vocals/rhythm guitar), Murry Hammond (bass/vocals), Ken Bethea (lead guitar), and Philip Peeples (drums). Rhett is an outstanding songwriter. Ken is so fantastic on guitar – he has no peers in the alt-country world. Murry dances with his electric bass while she pretends to be an upright on the Opry stage. And Philip Peeples is such a powerful and in the pocket drummer.

“Question” was a dedication from Twitter but we didn’t hear any squeals from the audience. Maybe she said no? And Ken sang this night.

It was another great night and we did not want it to end. Rhett promised to come back to the Brooklyn Bowl every summer. Murry mentioned that there are seven albums to cover. A week in NYC? Heaven.

Set List

  • Timebomb
  • Barrier Reef
  • Broadway
  • Salome
  • W. TX Teardrops
  • Melt Show
  • Streets Of Where I’m From
  • Big Brown Eyes
  • Just Like California
  • Curtain Calls
  • Niteclub
  • House That Used To Be
  • Four Leaf Clover
  • Mama Tried
  • Question
  • The New Kid
  • The One
  • Coahuila
  • Let The Whiskey Take The Reins
  • Can’t Get a Line
  • Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)
  • Won’t Be Home
  • 504
  • Encore

  • Beer Cans (Phil “Homer Henderson” Bennison)
  • Rollerskate Skinny
  • Timebomb
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    By Carene Lydia Lopez