Drive-By Truckers Bring The Rock Show To Texas (SHOW REVIEW)

“It’s great to be alive,” shouted Patterson Hood, hugging the air and beaming a toothy smile at the crowd. Crisp fall weather and a clear night sky overhead made Austin’s Scoot Inn the place to be for a rock show, and there is no doubt that Hood felt those words. In a way, those words were also the reason why the Drive-By Truckers were in Austin in the first place. Besides being part of their song “A World of Hurt”, the line also happens to be the name of their new live album coming out at the end of this month. The Truckers have always shined on the stage, so a live album makes sense, and Thursday’s show was only further proof of this.

Before the Truckers came onstage the speakers played songs off the new album Your Dog, Champ from Brent Black (READ OUR REVIEW). The frontman of country rock band Slobberbone just released this superb album and had been scheduled to open the show for the Truckers but had been forced to cancel for health reasons. Hood and the rest of the band were clearly concerned for Best – a longtime friend and talented songwriter – and dedicated the show to him. Luckily, if there was any lingering bummer in the air, the Truckers remedied it with a two-hour set of non-stop southern rock.

The setlist spanned the long and storied career of the Truckers, going all the way back to their 1998 debut album Gangstabilly when they kicked off with “The Living Bubba”. The slower, darker mood of the song was immediately contrasted with Mike Cooley’s catchy, upbeat “Gravity’s Gone”. This is how it went for the night; Hood and Cooley alternating songs, two of the finest songwriters around each at the top of his game and each bringing a different vibe to the set. The Truckers are maybe the only band still around these days that can boast two singer-songwriters of equally massive talent. They also ripped on guitar, complimenting each other’s songs with potent licks.

In two hours of rocking the Truckers never relented, instead gaining more momentum with each song. So much momentum, in fact, that instead of wasting time on the silly charade of leaving the stage before an encore the band just kept going. “Hell No, I Ain’t Happy” had the crowd pumping their fists and singing along before charging head-on into one of Cooley’s most grandiose songs, “Zip City”, and closing on a high with a Southern boy meets punk cover of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died”. Other highlights of the night included a “Goode’s Field Road” laden with funky guitar riffs, the blissful, glorious shredding on “Marry Me”, and a twangy “The Company I Keep” dedicated to Brent Best. By the end nearly everyone in the crowd was smiling as wide as Patterson Hood, and indeed it did feel great to be alive.


The Living Bubba
Gravity’s Gone
The Night GG Allin Came to Town
Shit Shots Count
Made Up English Oceans
The Righteous Path
Get Downtown
Puttin’ People on the Moon
A Ghost to Most
Goode’s Field Road
Sounds Better in the Song
A World of Hurt
Marry Me
The Company I Keep
Birthday Boy
Hell No, I Ain’t Happy
Zip City
People Who Died


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