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The Rentals, Ozma in D.C.

The Rentals haven’t had a hit single in the U.S. since Bill Clinton’s first term in office, but they still managed to fire up the motley crowd at the venerable Nightclub 9:30 in Washington, D.C. The band have reformed after a five year hiatus with the promise of a new album, but the current tour is serving largely as a celebration of their past. With fellow mid-nineties survivors and also recently-reunited Ozma as an energizing opening act, original members Matt Sharp (a Weezer founder) and Rachel Haden (of that dog.) — along with four new members and Ozma’s Ryen Slegr helping out on guitar — recreated the four-part boy-girl harmonies of their two albums, complete with violins, Moog synthesizers, distorted bass, acoustic guitars, piano, and whip-cracked drumming. There were plenty of aging hipsters longing to relive the mid-’90s, but the younger demo also made a strong showing, offering hope that the Rentals’ return for this set marks more than a just a one-time nostalgia trip. STORY BY MATT TERL. PHOTOS BY ROBERT MACY

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