4

The Old 97’s at ACL Fest

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The last time I saw the Old 97’s was at The Argo in Denton sometime in the last century. A gutter-punk couple was square dancing, which felt perfectly appropriate to the twangy yet gritty music that night. As the group got poppier and poppier with each subsequent release, they gradually lost my interest.

But their 12:30 set was full of the electricity that has seemed to be missing since 2001’s Satellite Rides, concentrating on upbeat tunes like “Barrier Reef” and “Victoria,” an old favorite off Wreck Your Life. A couple good songs off their newest may just bring me back around again. “The Fool” and “Color of a Lonely Heart is Blue” are just as witty and fun as anything that got me into them as a teenager.

“We use weird tunings,” Murry Hammond said to explain the delay before their set began. “If we don’t get them just right, we sound like an art band.”

They must have got them right, because there was no mistaking their perfectly polished country-tinged pop songs for anything remotely pretentious. I didn’t spot any square-dancing gutter punks this time; in fact, hardly anyone in the listless, sun-beaten crowd did much of anything until the last song. But crowd-pleasing closer “Time Bomb” had a middle-aged pair of Festival Info volunteers grooving. I couldn’t help but join them in spite of myself. -- Jesse Hughey

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.