The Drive-By Truckers brought the rock show to the Capital Theatre
in Macon Thursday night. Opener Tift Merritt played a great set, although her
acoustic-leaning alt-country tunes struggled to find the volume necessary to
drown out the loud, rowdy (and borderline rude) crowd that DBT shows have become
Upon taking the stage, the Truckers used the sold-out show in front
of mostly long-time fans as an opportunity to showcase a few brand new tunes
while dedicating the majority of the set to older tracks from the DBT catalog.
Leading off with Decoration Day rocker "Hell No, I Ain't Happy,"
Patterson Hood and company whipped the crowd into a frenzy with favorites "Marry
Me" and the Mike Cooley-led "Where the Devil Don't Stay."
After such an intense
opening, the band allowed the crowd to settle down just long enough to play the
unreleased "After the Scene Dies;" during which John Neff displayed how much he
has grown into his renewed role as a member of DBT. Although Neff's main
responsibility on the last few tours has been his masterful pedal steel guitar,
he has now taken charge of the electric and emerged to the front of the stage to
play several lead solos during the first hour of the show before even touching
the pedal steel.
DBT anthem "Dead, Drunk, and Naked" had the entire crowd
singing/screaming along as the band continued to display it's mastery of
managing a crowd's intensity through the art of foregoing a predetermined
setlist; instead choosing the course of the show as it progresses. The Truckers
have long been hailed as one of the best live bands in the South, although it is
safe to say that they can drop the "in the South" qualifier and be known simply
as one of the best live bands. The musicianship and on-stage chemistry between
band members is always impressive while the camaraderie and between song banter
of long-time friends and standout songwriters Hood and Cooley embodies that of a
top notch southern rock band.
Hood brought Merritt back out to help the band
with a spirited version of old fan favorite "Buttholeville," a song choice that
might have doubled as the band's indictment of the way that the crowd originally
treated Merritt. Cooley's unique ability to describe the South was featured
several more times during songs such as "Women and Whiskey" and "Zip City." The
band ended the final encore with DBT producer David Barbe on bass as the band
blasted through hard rocker "Lookout Mountain" and constant show closer "People
Who Died." The Drive-By Truckers have only continued to hone their craft in a
live environment as they continue to grow into a band that does nothing but make
a die hard fan out of anyone that has the pleasure of catching them on
Category: Live Reviews