Concert Reviews

Drive-By Truckers at the Ogden Theatre, 3/19/11

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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.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon