Live: Drive-By Truckers, the Dexateens – 5/9/08 at the 9:30 Club

It’s f__kin’ great to be alive!!


What a great, great show. The Truckers gave it their all. Every ounce of their energy for one of the best rock shows I have ever seen.

You can put the Drive-By Truckers into whatever country subgenre you want, but when it comes down to it, they are just pure rock ‘n’ roll. They are, without a doubt, one of the best present-day rock bands in America, if not the world. Heck, they’re even better than some old classic rockers. These guys are good.

“Baby every bone in my body’s gone to jumping/like they’re gonna come through my skin/If they could get along without the rest of me, it wouldn’t matter if they did,” sang Mike Cooley on “A Ghost To Most,” one of the many great tracks on 2008’s superb Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. The set list spanned their entire career and contained hit after hit. Brighter Than Creation’s Dark is such a charming record, that songs off of it were often highlights. But every song was a highlight tonight.

When Cooley finished playing “Checkout Time In Vegas,” (from BTCD) the band then played the three following songs on the record straight afterward. “You And Your Crystal Meth” was brilliant and even darker live. “Goode’s Field Road” proved just why it’s an excellent song, and everyone already knew that “A Ghost To Most” is a classic.

As the Drive-By Truckers played, it was hard for me to see any effect pedals on the stage for their guitars. Then I realized, they don’t need any pedals. The only effect they need is “Southern Fried.”

I did see some pedals toward the back of the stage, but they were scarce and that was just fine. The guitars were in fine, fine form.

Touring member on the keys, John Neff on pedal steel and a third guitar, Brad Morgan on drums, Patterson Hood on guitar and vocals, Mike Cooley on guitar and vocals, and Shonna Tucker played bass with an endearing enthusiasm. Shonna sang one song during the show, her best one off the last record, “I’m Sorry Huston.”

Morgan is a very talented drummer. This was obvious right away with rockin’ opener “Puttin’ People On the Moon.”

The Truckers put so much energy out on the stage. I don’t know how they can top it tonight (as in the tenth) (two dates at the 9:30 Club this time around, the ninth and tenth of May). I’m sure they will, but last night was pure rock awesomeness. Great setlist, great energy, great, great rock music. I really cannot use the word “great” enough. Or the word “rock.”

DBT classic “Let There Be Rock” had a shining moment as the third to last song in the righteous encore. The best song I have ever seen performed live. Absolutely amazing.

And the final rock-out jam of the encore had DBT pull openers the Dexateens (who played a well-received and joyously country-rockin’ set to start the late night off (doors at 9)) back on stage (along with another guitarist friend) to play “Buttholeville” and whatever other song I could not tell by ear (thanks to the mass of instruments pervading the sound system) (the vocals were inaudible at this point. Throughout the night, the vocals were hard to hear in the club). It wasn’t pure rock fury. It was pure rock soul.

The musicians traded swigs from the Jack Daniels bottle all bitter and clean, and the show ended with one hell of bang. Patterson Hood lying on the stage, 10 other people playing music around him. And then he popped up for another round of soul revealin’ rock.

Great show. Great band.

– R.H.


1 Comment

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One response to “Live: Drive-By Truckers, the Dexateens – 5/9/08 at the 9:30 Club

  1. Pingback: The Best Music of 2008 « Two Silenced Voices: Critics At Large

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