Drive-by Truckers Live at Track 29

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This was the fourth time I’ve seen the Truckers, and I’m pleased to say that my confidence in them as a concert band is restored.  When last seen, they were making noise, going through the motions and without any consideration of sonic quality in a facility that allows it.  This time, they were making music in a facility that is challenged to provide it.  Track 29 provides an opportunity for Chattanooga’s music faithful to see shows, essentially in the absence of any other venue.  But it’s a skating rink.  Good things don’t happen to sound in a plain metal building.  The good news is that they’re relocating their brand to an old movie theater nearby.

Drive by Truckers concert review Track 29

The Dexateens opened, an Alabama band whose bassist, Matt Patton, is also now a full time member of DBT.  I wasn’t familiar with their songs, but could make out enough through the sound system that I’ll check more out later.  A friend remarked that Patton was the smilingest bassist he’d ever seen, and he may be.  I think though, that he’s just really enthusiastic about making music and the life he’s living.

Drive by Truckers concert review Track 29

The band dismissed their prior guitarist, and then-keyboardist Jay Gonzalez is now tasked with many of the band’s lead guitar work.  The keyboards sometimes get lost in their sound, so it makes sense that they use his talents to full effect.   He has a very unassuming stage presence, which is unfortunate because it’s easy to miss out on his contributions.

Drive by Truckers concert review Track 29

When it comes to DBT, though, it’s really all about leaders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley.  Recent reviews reflect a consideration of the Paris terrorist attacks and resulting song selections, and it’s hard to imagine Hood without some sort of “peace, love and screw the f*ckers” monologue to go with it.  This night, though, it was just about the music.  It was pretty smartly selected, too.   There was an appreciated absence of the monotone narratives that Hood has gravitated to in recent releases and more of a focus on what has become anthemic fist-pumpers for the audience.

Drive by Truckers concert review Track 29

Highlights for me included the speak-along “18 Wheels of Love,” “Hell No I Ain’t Happy,” “Zip City,” and, as always, “Sinkhole.”

Drive by Truckers concert review Track 29

These were all more enthusiastically enjoyed, in part, to the wisdom of bringing ear plugs.  It’s amazing how they moderate the speaker system and even make the lyrics more intelligible.  The only song that was lost was a new one, whose title I don’t recall.  It was fairly short, aggressive and otherwise, obviously, forgettable.

Drive by Truckers concert review Track 29

The venue closes at midnight, due to its proximity to the Chattanooga Choo Choo’s motel rooms.  Given that, at 11:15, there were only 45 minutes remaining for an encore, Hood suggested that they skip the exit and return to stage for an encore.  So, the non-encore included four to five songs which happened to take the remainder of the available time.  “Zip City” was fantastic… the closer, “Grand Canyon,” aside from its personal fondness for the band, isn’t a great song for fans, but it does allow the band to stretch the piece, leaving the stage one at a time.  As a finale, it’s getting tired.  DBT has earned their fans and their career.  Here’s hoping they add some new classics to their repertoire.

Drive by Truckers concert review Track 29

Set list (not in order)
Primer Coat
Shit Shots count
English Oceans
Shut Up And Get On The Plane
Where The Devil Don't Stay
Hell No I Aint Happy
Sinkhole
Sounds Better In A Song
Let There Be Rock
Three Dimes Down
English Oceans
18 Wheels of Love
New Song
Heathens
The Righteous Path
Zip City
Grand Canyon

1 comment :

  1. This is a great venue. I was here for a party and there was so much food and it was all done so well! The decor and food at venue NYC were amazing. Personally, I think the space is laid out really well and the size of the venue keeps pulling great parties.

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