Lonely Holiday

The Old 97’s in New Orleans 7/19

The Old 97’s
The Old 97’s

I tend to associate The Old 97’s with New Orleans, mainly because my favorite bar, Molly’s at the Market, has “ Too Far to Care” on their jukebox, and I’ve subsequently found myself there at 4 a.m. listening to them over tumblers of Makers Mark. So last week when I learned the venerable alternative country quartet would be playing during my stint in town, some blocks down Decatur from Molly’s at the House of Blues, I was quite pleased. I convinced my little sister to accompany me to the show, and scared up tickets from the band’s congenial and accommodating press person. Saturday night rolled around and my sister ditched me to hang out at The Circle Bar with a guy, but was nice enough to give me a ride to the venue.

The House of Blues was packed with an exuberant crowd, and after procuring alcohol I found myself straining to see over the masses of people, all apparently taller than I. Upstairs to the right of the stage I pounced on a vacated blank spot along the railing and enjoyed the rest of the show from there. A goofy, toothy grin befell my face, interrupted only by pangs of worry related to the fact I’d left my phone at my Dad’s house, and had no way to contact my sister to arrange later carousing. But I brushed that away, drank up and enjoyed hits such as “Rollerstake Skinny,” “Big Brown Eyes” and “The New Kid,” along with selections from their new album, released on New West in May. The Old 97’s seemed genuinely happy to be playing in New Orleans, and their stage banter, and high level of rocking reflected that. Well done, lads.

And thanks for the show.