March 1st, 2001: Old 97s.
A Throwback Thursday Series.
I used to be a huge Old 97s fan. A friend of mine named Aaron gave me Too Far Too Care back in 1997 and I was hooked. I saw them a bunch of times over the years, but this one stands out. It took place during a tumultuous time. I had gone through a rough breakup a few months prior and instead of facing my demons head-on, I left DC and moved to NYC in December of 2000. I left behind a secure, high-paying job and dozens of close friends and ended up staring at four blank walls in a three-story walkup in Greenpoint.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved living in NYC. But I was also pretty unsure of myself. And so I, like countless others, set out every day wandering the streets in search of myself.
None of the two friends I had in NYC at the time liked the Old 97s. And since I was young and still freaked out by the idea of going to a show by myself, I wanted company.
This is perfectly absurd to me now. At age 41, I would be THRILLED to attend a concert by myself. I love being alone now especially since I so rarely ever am. Now, concerts and movies look more like a three mile run or a trip to the gynecologist. If 41-year-old me could sit 27-year-old me down, she would definitely beg her to enjoy the alone time. She would tell her to go to that show and sing along at the top of her lungs. Because that’s what she needed and wanted to do. She was just too insecure to actually do it.
I wanted company. So I purchased three tickets: one for me, one for Gerry and one for Bob. And they went. And I THINK I even paid for their drinks, possibly even the car service to and from. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I paid them to hang out with me that night.
For what it’s worth, I consider Gerry a lifelong friend. We still keep in touch. I’ve known him since I was 17. And I don’t see Bob much anymore, but we never had any issues. The three of us hung out regularly back then, sometimes every single night. So it wasn’t like they hated being around me or anything like that. (At least I hope not!) They just didn’t particularly like The Old 97s. So throughout the entire show, when they weren’t bored to tears, they were visibly annoyed. And this made it impossible for me to enjoy the show.
Why had I begged two people to see a band they didn’t even like?
Right before leaving (we left early) I asked them if they wanted anything before heading back to Brooklyn, and I think it was Gerry who quipped, “Yes, I would like the last two hours of my life back.”