From the Vault: Hagfish and Old 97s

August 26, 2008

A couple days ago, I posted the first show review I did on an old website of mine about 10 years ago. Typos abound and I did not hesitate to talk about the amount I drank in addition to the show I saw.

Anyway, here are my second and third entries as I wrote them 10 years ago:

4/6/98 – St. Louis, Mo – Galaxy Club
I drove two hours to see this show, so you know I really like this band. This was my 14th time to see Hagfish live. I saw them for the first time four years ago when they played at my high school in Dallas. This night, they were playing between two bands, Homegrown and Save Ferris. We missed Homegrown, but got a free tape of theirs after the show, and well, they suck. Hagfish played for 45 minutes, but I was having so much fun, it only seemed like 20 minutes. They ripped through 17 songs, opening with “Trixie”, as they often do. There were about 10 of us there that had the CD and knew the words, etc., but the cool thing was that the people that didn’t know who Hagfish was at first, ended up really getting into the show. They played songs from Hagfish and …Rocks Your Lame Ass, but when asked to play “Buster”, they couldn’t quite remember how to play it. Then I asked them to play “Shark”, from Buick Men, they said they even less of an idea on how to play that. On the song “Sucker”, local St. Louis celeb Beatle Bob got up on stage and danced. It was pretty cool to see some weirdo dancing around on stage to Hagfish. The crowd was fairly appreciative, especially considering most of them had no idea who Hagfish was before that night. The band closed with “Flat”, which the rest of band continued playing well after the proper end of the song to let the pit frenzy up. George and Zach got into a friendly shoving and kicking match on stage, and Zach showed off his chest hair and unbelievably small nipples. All in all it was a great show. Save Ferris was surprisingly good, with a hyperactive horn section and a trombonist that looked like he belonged in the movie “Scream” (it’s hard to explain). They did the obligatory hit, the cover of “Come On Eileen”, and did a cool cover of an Operation Ivy song.

Old 97s
4/16/98 – Columbia, Mo – The Blue Note
I was planning on seeing this show as a study break, because I had a test on the next day, making this the first time I had gone into an Old 97s show sober. I was just going to go from 11-12:30 and come back home and study. We got there as Train Wreck Willy was playing their last song and my friend and I decided to get a pitcher to pass the time until the 97s got on stage. Then the waitress came by and asked us if we wanted another – and you can probably see where this is going. Needless to say, I didn’t come home and study. The last time I saw these guys was Dec 5, 1997, at a place here in Columbia called Mojo’s. It’s a really cool blues bar, and the Old 97’s had the place completely packed – it was one in, one out. It was the best show I’ve seen from them, everything about it was superb. This show last Tuesday was really good, but not quite of the same level. I think it might have had something to do with the setting. The Blue Note is more of a theater; it is much bigger than Mojo’s was. They started off with “Victoria” and “Barrier Reef”, both of which were played quite a bit slower than their recorded versions. The first half of the show was kind sluggish and slow, but nonetheless quite good. “Salome” slowed down only added to the feeling of that great song. As the show went on, they picked up the pace, and by the last song, “Four Leaf Clover”, they were absolutely rocking. They played a couple of new songs, which were all good, and they played all the requests they could remember. Off the top of my head, I yelled “Play ‘St. Ignatius’!”, and they went right into it, without a hitch. That song, incedentally, happened to be on of the best performances that night, along with “Big Brown Eyes” and “Salome”. In the end, the Old 97s had put on another great show. You should really see them if they come to your town.

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