Drive-By Truckers & Blitzen Trapper at Turner Hall 03/27/14

The Drive by Truckers are known for their relentless touring and effort they put towards each live performance.  So as an avid DBT fan I have been trying to see them for the last few years.    It has been put off way too long but between  having the means to afford tickets, travel and timing, it just never worked out.  Well last night I was able to cross DBT off from my list of must see live acts.  The night was set off by Blitzen Trapper who definitely put enough pallets on the fire to make the night burn bright.

Blitzen Trapper started the night off with “Fletcher” off of their album American Goldwing.   The energy was great from the beginning, especially from their six string player Erik Menteer.  He played his guitar with a shit load of bravado yet never seemed out of step with the rest of the band.  The overarching theme I perceived from Blitzen Trapper’s performance was that the whole band bought in and seemed confident about the music they have made and are currently releasing.    The latter was put on display when they followed  up their opening tune with “Feel the Chill” off their most recent release VII.  I was familiar with their catalog before the show but left with a renewed sense of their sound.  It seemed their was more range in the live show in terms of distinct instrumental sounds as well as the ability to get off the refrain and jam, which I always appreciate.  It is great to see guys who are as talented as these fellas individually display their skills.  They also included fan favorites such as “Furr”, “Black River Killer”, “Love the Way You Walk Away” to round out their performance.

The Truckers set was as diverse as one could expect when seeing a band performing on their current album’s tour.  They played a healthy 22 tracks off of eight albums.   They are currently touring on their recently released English Oceans  which highlights singer/guitarist Mike Cooley’s songwriting more then any other DBT album.  Cooley started the set with “3 Dimes Down” a song off of  Brighter than Creations Dark (the first album released after Isbell’s departure), which seemed to signify the entire performance of the two founding members sharing the lead role on the stage.

The two songs that really stood out to me as a fan was “Heathens” off of Decoration Day which is a coming of age tune penned and song by Hood and my favorite track off of The Big To Do  “Birthday Boy” written and sung by Cooley.  We all go into shows hoping for a favorite or two of ours to played and these two songs demonstrated their range and remarkable career span to me.  The diversity of songs DBT played and the vast amount of talent on stage led to an overall great performance.  It seemed they could go from a relatively slow tune where the story is front and center to a beer drinking fist in the air song seamlessly.  It seems their new addition of Matt Patton of the Dexateens (who if you have yet to check out, get on that) was a wise choice, he seemed to effortlessly go from song to song while remaining wholeheartedly stoked the entire time.

The band opened their encore with “Shit Shots Count”  their new single off of English Oceans moved into “Zip City” and ended with “Grand Canyon” a song devoted to their deceased friend, merchandise manager and Athens, Georgia native Craig Lieske.    It seems that throughout 18 years of existence and numerous line–up changes Cooley and Hood still have the raw talent to continue releasing great albums and deliver to their fans shows that will be remembered.

Blitzen Trapper Set

1.Fletcher

2.)Feel the Chill

3.)Thirsty Man

4.) Jericho

5.)Love The Way You Walk Away

6.)Black River Killer

7.)Furr

8.)Dragon’s Song

Drive by Truckers Set

1.) 3 Dimes Down

2.) When He’s Gone

3.) Sounds better in the Song

4.)Heathens

5.) Primer Coat

6.) The Part of Him

7.) Till He’s Dead or Rises

8.) Pauline Hawkins

9.)Women Without Whiskey

10.) Feb 14

11.)Hearing Jimmy Loud

12.) Ronnie and Neil

13.) 72

14.) Lookout Mountain

15.)Made Up English Oceans

16.) Girls Who Smoke

17.) Birthday Boy

18.) Hell No, I Ain’t Happy

Encore:

19.)Shit Shots Count

20.)Buttholeville

21.) Zip City

22.) Grand Canyon

Leave a Reply