Old 97’s / The Travoltas / Rhett Miller Solo – Southgate House Revival

The Old 97’s, The Travoltas and Rhett Miller (Old 97’s frontman) packed a sold out crowd in to the Southgate House Revival on Friday February 15th.  The show started with a solo set by Rhett Miller.  He played a few of his solo songs and an Old 97’s song that he said the rest of the band doesn’t like to play anymore.  For a solo performer, Miller was very engaging and full of vigor as he dug in to his acoustic guitar and belted out alt country goodness.  After Miller’s solo set came The Travoltas.  They were all dressed in 70’s looking tuxedo coats and pants with white pearl-snap shirts – a mixture of western and disco chic.  Their music was hard to classify as some songs sounded like 60’s lounge music and others sound Kinks-like pop songs.  I’m not sure that the crowd was getting them though.  While the show was fun and raucous, the crowd mostly just watched with indifference.  Perhaps they were just really eager to see Old 97’s and growing impatient.

When the Old 97’s came out the crowd roared to life and they immediately broke into crowd-favorite Timebomb.  I had talked to a few people who were actually following them on tour for a few shows.  It’s a devoted fan-base like that who keeps the energy up throughout a full set.  Song after song, the crowd ate it up as Miller and the Old 97’s rocked and high kicked the night away through much of their extensive alt-country catalog.

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Brian Bruemmer