JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

December 31, 2013
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Love Tsunami
Photos by Love Tsunami

Old 97s

Bringing In The New With The Old 97s

Let's face it, New Years' Eve is an overhyped event where partiers overdo it for the sake of excess itself. There was only one thing in the world that was getting me out of the house that night and that one thing was Old 97s at House of Blues Dallas. I'm a big fan. It tickles me to death that front man Rhett Miller doesn't remember giving me a dumb drunk kiss at a house party in Irving, Texas many, many moons ago. I'm sure he's had a few more kisses since then that didn't taste like Schaeffer beer. But I digress. This is just the sort of thing that makes a girl a fan for life. Thank God they are actually a good band.

I've said before that there's hardly anything like seeing a band that makes it big on their home turf and on NYE, three local acts burned it up and blew it out. Ryan Thomas Becker, a local songwriter who one of my friends has a fairly serious mancrush on, performed with his project RTB2. This is a different Ryan Thomas Becker than you might see soloing at Denton haunts like Dan's Silverleaf. He's a powerhouse that went a little underappreciated as the first act of the evening before the party got into swing.

Second up was popular Austin band, The Hickoids, longtime friends of legendary Dallas band the Loco Gringos. They always tip their hat to their old friends by playing one of their tunes. I always have a blast at their shows. It's fun to make a drinking game of how many songs it takes for front man Jeff Smith to lose his shirt. Their fans are usually old enough to put their phones away and just dance and enjoy the show, which is a nice change from watching 20 somethings stand around experiencing their music through a tiny screen and blocking my view.

By the time Old 97s hit the stage, the crowd was pretty whipped up and gave a righteous North Texas welcome to our prodigal sons. We are always glad when they come home. If you're having a bad time at an Old 97s show, it's your own fault. They're lively and funny and cool as sh*t. Nobody I know is as happy to be doing their jobs as these guys are. Cranking out old favorites first, we all got caught in their enthusiasm. The smell of a fresh start for 2014 filled the room and we were all happy to be alive while we sang along to "Champagne, Illinois." I got swept away by the moments as I often do and then it was midnight. Rhett counted down and a cheer of "Happy New Year!" followed by the refrains of "Auld Lang Syne" rose from the crowd while confetti rained down on us. After the traditional ringing in, the evening came to full tilt while Old 97s stayed fresh and gave their all to the first hour of 2014.

House of Blues lived up to the hype and as far as I know, nobody got hurt. Happy 2014, Y'all!