Old 97’s – Boulder Theater, CO

Rhett Miller

What’s better than an Old 97’s show? That’s right, A Very Special Evening with the Old 97’s. Instead of one band set, both Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond serve as opening acts, each playing solo mini-sets.

Murry took the first slot, Rhett (who is promoting his latest solo record, Rhett Miller) the second and then finally the whole band played the main show.

Murry Hammond
“How’s everybody doing? Welcome to the first act of the ‘Very Special Evening with the Old 97’s,’ very special.”

What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?

Between the Switches > Lost at Sea

Murry Hammond

“Alright, how’re y’all doing? We’re glad to be up here. About three weeks ago, I got to do something cool, I got to record some music for a documentary, a film documentary on the old Carter Family. AP Carter and Sarah Carter and Mother Maybelle, who, basically with Jimmie Rodgers started country music. So anyway, I got to record one of the Carter Family songs, for the segment on the death of AP Carter, the patriarch of the family. And for those of you who don’t know who that is, Mother Maybelle Carter is Johnny Cash’s mother-in-law.”

I Never Will Marry

“Thank you guys, it’s not me it’s the harmonium. A real quick story about that thing, most of us know it because the hippie British kids in the ’60s brought it into their music and you can hear it in the middle of the Beatles’ ‘We Can Work It Out.’ And that was all done on WWI-era instruments that the clergy would take out into the battlefields so they could have church. So they could have some kind of organ sound out there while, you know, waiting for they big one. Am I the bass player in ‘A Mighty Wind?’ ‘A very interesting story about that,’ I am the bass player from ‘A Mighty Wind.’ Ask the guys.”

Summer ’84 (?)


“Alright, this actually isn’t one of mine. I’ve been doing this for a little bit, back where I live right now, for about three years, I’ve been doing music in church. We have like a Wednesday night thing and the preacher he said, ‘If you want to do music, you could bring in all the different kind of gospel,’ and I said, ‘Well, I’d like to do that.’ This is one I’ve been doing up there, it’s kinda one of those songs where you wish that all gospel music sounded like this. But this is a Julie Miller song, we’ve got Buddy and Julie Miller, but this is Julie’s.”

All My Tears

Other, Younger Days > I Believe, I Believe

“Thanks a lot everybody, we’re gonna take a minute and clear a couple of things and Rhett Miller is coming right out.”

Rhett Miller

Hello Coloradans!”

Like Love


“Thank you very much, so yeah, I’ve very excited to be here with the Old 97’s, they’re one of my favorite bands. And I have a brand new solo record I put out, those last two songs were on there. But I’ll also be playing other songs, like this one.”

This Is What I Do

“Murry told me you guys were a very kind, sweet, quiet and attentive audience. I’m going to cash in on that right now.”


Singular Girl


“Alright, this is one I recorded as a duet with the great Rachel Yamagata, but she’s not here tonight so, as is my want, I’m going to sing it by myself and I’m going to do the girl parts. I’m going to connect with my inner woman and it’s going to happen. I feel so open with y’all. So anyway, when I’m singing the male parts, so you can keep it straight, I’m gonna look at y’all and when I’m singing the girl parts I’m going to look towards y’all. Prepare to be astounded.”


“You guys, we pulled it off. I’m going to do a couple more songs and then we’ll take a short break and the Old 97’s will come out.”

If It’s Not Love

The El

Old 97’s

“Hey, how’s everybody doing?” Murry asked.

Won’t Be Home

Other Shoe

Dance With Me

“That’s Kelly McCully (?) everyone,” Rhett said, referring to the guitar tech. “This song is dedicated to you, Kelly, it’s your favorite.”

Lonely Holiday

“Thanks everybody,” Murry said. “We hope you enjoy the special evening with the Old 97’s. We’re glad all y’all made it out and y’all are making this room a great room and we really appreciate y’all being here. Ok, this is a song about west Texas.”

West Texas Teardrops

No Baby I

New Kid

Barrier Reef

“How y’all doing tonight?” Rhett asked. “Please welcome, on drums, the great Phillip Pepples.”

Murder (Or a Heart Attack)

If My Heart was a Car

Color of a Lonely Heart is Blue

“I got this brand new solo record I just put out a couple weeks ago,” Rhett said. “And my band, the Old 97’s, has has been kind enough to learn one of the songs, it’s called ‘I Need to Know Where I Stand.”

I Need to Know Where I Stand

Rhett had to take a moment to tune so Murry offered to “regale (the audience) with comedy.” After a brief pause he said, “Technically that’s comedy.”

“As the AAA guys say, ‘It looks like you blew a gasket,'” Rhett said. “Or a seal.”


“Thank you,” Rhett said. “That was by request via Twitter. It’s this new thing on the internet.”


“Hey Murry,” Rhett started. “I have this weird theory that there’s a new, it’s like a drinking game, but it’s for smoking. Every time you sing a song, I smell this crazy incense.”

“You know what that is?” Murry asked.


“My brother smelled that in the ’70s, he told me about it.”

“Was that at a Uriah Heap concert?”

“No, it was from Ted Nugent concerts. And when Van Halen opened up for Boston in ’78.”

“I think that’s the new drinking game.”

“It’s a true, historical fact. I told you I was the bass player from ‘A Mighty Wind,’ I told you!”

“For those of you who play, it’s another Murry song right now.”


“Thanks everybody,” Murry said. “And thank you Rhett Miller for cussing at us in Spanish, we appreciate it. Say something bad about Bush in Spanish.”

“El presidente pasado es muy estupido. (The former president is very stupid.)” Rhett said and added, “Es verdad. (It’s true.)”

I Will Remain

Roller Skate Skinny

“Thanks very much,” Rhett said. “We have a couple more songs.”

Big Brown Eyes

The Easy Way

They left the stage for a short encore break and came back out. Rhett said, “Boulder, Colorado! Fuck, yeah! This is always been such a great town.”

“It’s always been a great place to play,” Murry added. “It’s the first time we’ve played this theater and anyways, it’s always been great. Thanks everybody for coming out for ten years.”

“This next one, it’s the first time we’ve played it in front of an audience,” Ken Bethea said. “And we’ve got an EP of covers.”

“Here’s a song,” Rhett interrupted. “We can’t wait until it comes out but it’s by the Rolling Stones, you’ve all heard of them.”

“I really love this song,” Ken continued. “I’m really so happy that the guys wanted to cover this song. It’s very different from what we usually do but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.”

Rocks Off

“This is by request,” Rhett said.

Bel Air

The Fool

“Thank you for everything tonight Boulder, Colorado,” Rhett said.


Visit The Old 97’s website.

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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