The biggest two shows in St. Louis tonight pit headliners that haven't exactly had a history of friendship. The heat has long since faded, but Ryan Adams, particularly in his Whiskeytown days, was known to have a bit of an attitude about the Old 97's and frontman Rhett Miller in particular. Jesse Hughey, writing for the Dallas Observer, remembers one particular scene from a show in 1998:
Between songs, Adams needled frat guys with remarks about renting friends. Then he put on a pair of black-framed glasses, forced a buck-toothed smile and picked up his acoustic guitar. "Look, we're the Old 97's," he said. "What a nerd!"
The 97's, for its part, kept things a little more subtle -- you can read some theories about diss tracks, which includes an interesting theory about the source material for "Crash on the Barrelhead." You can find a more definite reaction on the Old 97's blog -- a 2004 post offers that they've removed editing features from the comments so people can be as much of an "(old school) Ryan Adams wannabe ;)" as they want. Winky face theirs.
Incidentally, nice glasses, Ryan. What a nerd.