Other than the great coffee-shop shows by my friend the incomparable Kevin Taylor, I haven’t been to many concerts in the last year or two. My jar of First Avenue ticket stubs was starting to get pretty dusty. So I was excited when I had a chance to see Rhett Miller play there on Friday night.
He certainly didn’t disappoint. He played a dense, rockin’ set for over two hours with only a minute or two of break near the end. Rhett is such a great performer: excuberant, enthusiastic, and energetic… and he doesn’t miss a beat or kick or expression if a string or guitar strap breaks. I got to hear all my favorites from his last two albums, not to mention those from the Old 97’s.
I first experienced Rhett Miller’s music when he was the opening act at a Tori Amos concert I was dragged to a few years ago. With just a mic and an acoustic guitar, he demonstrated all the aformentioned talent along with great pop hook and impressed me immediately. I even bought the disc at the show – a rare event. Not sure what else to say. Rhett Miller just strikes the perfect balance between power pop and alt country with clever, witty, and heartfelt lyrics that never lack from inventive wordplay and allusion.