A good old fashioned, balls out rock and roll concert… that pretty much sums up the Drive-By Truckers live. Other than getting the thumbs-up from RatBat Bear, who saw them with the Hold Steady at the end of ’08, I didn’t really know what to expect from this show. What I and about 700 people got was 27 songs of sweet southern rock goodness.
A few things of note… first, DBT has a hell of a fan base. I was initially surprised by this, but by the end of the night it was pretty clear why. While a crowd of 700 doesn’t seem like much, the energy kicked the shit out of some of the tepid crowds I’ve been a part of that were over 2x the size. The show was sold out and tickets were abnormally scarce on Craigslist. I waited outside for about 10 minutes before someone offered up and extra ticket. I walked in as DBT were taking the stage and the place was pretty much packed (unheard of for DC-area concerts). Lots of singing, grooving and Natty Boh drinking. This was most likely the effects of the other thing I noticed…
DBT genuinely seemed to be having a good time - something that probably can’t be said about a lot of other bands… especially when they’re on tour. This was pretty evident from their interactions with each other and the crowd. Maybe the Jack Daniels they were passing around (2 bottles) had something to do with it, but I doubt it. These guys have been around awhile – they’re a well-oiled machine and they play off of each other extremely well.
I’d consider myself a casual DBT fan. I have a few of their albums which I like - but for whatever reason, their music doesn’t hold my attention or interest for an entire album. Same goes for their latest, The Big To-Do. And while I’d definitely recommend seeing them in concert, I don’t think the experience will make me want to listen to their albums more – I’ll just anxiously await their next tour and bring a few friends with me to share the experience.