When: Sat., July 18, 7:30 p.m. 2015
Red dirt up-and-comers Turnpike Troubadours made a solid Billboard debut with 2012’s Goodbye Normal Street, reaching No. 14 on the country charts and No. 57 on pop. The Old 97’s aren’t shy about their longevity, as evidenced by Most Messed Up’s five-minute-and-53-second-long opening opus “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive.” The song chronicles the band’s career and living life on the road (“Most of our shows were a triumph of rock/although some nights I might have been checking the clock”) and methodically builds from pretty, acoustic restraint to balls-out, country-fried rock, packing in both Miller’s sly one-liners (“love is a marathon/sometimes you puke”) and a hearty, sing-along refrain (“Rock ‘n’ roll’s been very, very good to me/the open road’s the only place I wanna be”). It’s like a CliffsNotes version of the Old 97’s impeccable yet genre-resistant style.