XPNFest Recap: Old 97's greet old fans with new songs on the River Stage - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Rhett Miller of Old 97s and XPN’s Michaela Majoun | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.comIt was pretty much a love fest when perennial rockers Old 97s took the River Stage at the XPoNential Music Festival on Sunday. Introducing the band with her arm draped around frontman Rhett Miller, Michaela Majoun told the crowd that she first saw the band at South By Southwest in 1994 – making the XPN love affair with the 97s two decades strong.

The band played a mix of old and tunes for their set, opening with the classic “Barrier Reef” and launching into a handful of songs from this year’s Most Messed Up. (“Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” had a particularly apt refrain: “Rock n’ roll’s been very very good to me.”) Bassist Murry Hammond shone in his lead vocal on “West Texas Teardrops,” drummer Phillip Peeples hammered away at “Murder (Or A Heart Attack)” from 1999’s fight songs and lead guitarist Ken Bethea’s solo drove on the set-closing “Timebomb.” Check out a gallery of photos and the setlist before, and listen to the performance in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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Barrier Reef
Dance With Me
Longer Than You’ve Been Alive
Champagne, Illinois
Murder (Or A Heart Attack)
West Texas Teardrops
Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On
Every Night If Friday Night (Without You)

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