With Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels
03.19.11 | Ogden Theatre
After being on the road pretty much nonstop since the beginning of February, the Drive-By Truckers rounded out this leg of their tour with a two-night stand at the Ogden Theatre before heading back home to Athens, Georgia (See photos from DBT Night I). There were reports of the first night being epic, and the Truckers were no doubt firing on all cylinders for night two, as well.
It's just that took a while for the Truckers to get to fully revved up. Sure, "I Do Believe," from their latest effort, Go-Go Boots, "3 Dimes Down" and "Puttin' People on the Moon" packed a lot of punch early in the set, but things didn't really get kicking until about an hour into the set, when the band launched into a raucous take on "Birthday Boy" from last year's The Big To-Do, one of the band's hardest rocking efforts in recent years.
It seemed like "Birthday Boy" was the spark that got the engine running, after which the Truckers motored through a few more The Big To-Do cuts like "Drag the Lake Charlie," "Get Downtown" and "After the Scene Dies." While guitarist John Neff plays a mean pedal steel, the songs that included band's three-guitar assault of Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Neff were some of the heaviest of the night, especially when the three were trading off riffs.
Sure, the band can rock hard and still proves to be one of the country's more energetic live acts. The Truckers also proved, though, that some of the slower tunes were equally as captivating, like Hood's singing on "Box of Spiders" and the unhurried country of "Love Like This," with Cooley on vocals.
During their two-and-half hour set, the Truckers played close to thirty songs (including the encore), drawing from 1999's Pizza Deliverance to this year's Go-Go Boots, throwing in about seven cuts from 2002's Southern Rock Opera. While there were quite a few highlights of the night, "Let There Be Rock," from Southern Rock Opera might have been the topper, with Hood prefacing the song by saying it was about how rock and roll changed his life as a teenager. The crowd sang along, and that the three-guitar harmony thing and the end -- man, it was awesome.
The band rode out the night with two more cuts from Southern Rock Opera. "Shut Up and Get On the Plane" might have been fastest and most energetic songs of the night. "Angels and Fuselage," with Cooley on harmonica, might have been the ideal song to end the night, with guitars feeding back and the band members walking off the stage one by one until it was just Brad Morgan left on the drums.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: It seems like the Truckers get progressively better every time they come to town. Random Detail: Cooley plays guitars made by former Denverite Scott Baxendale, who now lives in Athens, Georgia. By The Way: It seems like it took the crowd a few songs to warm up to Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels, but Prestwood had them won over by the time he finished his set of country tunes, which included a wonderful honky tonky take on Roy Orbison's "In Dreams."
I Do Believe 3 Dimes Down Puttin' People On The Moon Self Destructive Zones The Company I Keep Cartoon Gold Box Of Spiders One Of These Days Dancin' Ricky Everybody Needs Love Love Like This Heathens Birthday Boy Drag The Lake Charlie Get Downtown After The Scene Dies Road Cases 72 (This Highway's Mean) Goode's Field Road Women Without Whiskey Mercy Buckets Marry Me Lookout Mountain
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Encore: Where's Eddie Zip City Hell No I Ain't Happy Let There Be Rock Shut Up And Get On The Plane Angels and Fuselage