Down to Oxford Town January 30, 2011Posted by Matt in concerts.
Tags: drive-by truckers, Futurebirds, Oxford, Oxford girls are awesome, setlist, The Lyric
Over the past seven or eight years I’ve become fully convinced that there is not a more consistently great live band in America than the Drive-By Truckers and Friday night’s show supported that theory once again. As expected, they totally rocked the place.
Friday evening, my friends Chris, Jerry, and Dan ran by our house and picked me up for our little trip down into Mississippi. We all piled into Chris’s jeep, turned up the satellite radio, and hit the road, ready for the big night ahead. We arrived a good hour before the show, so we picked up our tickets and hit a nearby bar to pass the time until the doors opened. The anticipation level was growing, the air crackling with a pre-concert electricity as we passed the time.
Soon, we entered The Lyric, a really cool venue in downtown Oxford that sort of reminded me of The New Daisy in Memphis, only better set up and maintained. We found a nice spot by the recording equipment where we could see well and keep out of the more rambunctious sections of the crowd. The taper was a really nice guy who said that he normally does Widespread shows, so we helped him with the setlist throughout the show.
The Futurebirds hit the stage around 9:00 and, though I had never heard them before, I was very impressed with their sound. The young band employed a banjo along with their distorted guitars, which gave them a very Uncle Tupelo-like sound, mixed in with harmonies reminiscent of the Avett Brother. We enjoyed their set and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.
As a guy closing in on his mid-30s with a houseful of kids, I often feel older than I actually am, but sometimes things happen that make me realize that perhaps I’m not so far gone after all. In between shows we took turns running to the bar to keep our spot and grab a beer for the short dead time. It was crowded, so I slowly worked my way up to the bartender and soon found myself standing beside a young woman, who from appearances looked to be college-aged, with only one person in front of us. Being the gentleman that I am, once he finished, I motioned for the young lady to go ahead. She smiled and thanked me, then flashed me a mischevious grin, “Do you like whiskey?”
I was a little taken aback, but answered, “Well, umm…yeah.”
“Two shots!” she called out to the bartender and handed me one. We toasted to the night, downed them and she smiled at me again, “Enjoy the show.” I did.
DBT blazed onto the stage a little before 10:00, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley in fine form alongside their usual cohorts. Throughout the show they played a good deal of music from their soon-to-be-released album Go-Go Boots, including the opener, “Ray’s Automatic Weapon.” After that relatively unfamiliar tune, they launched into some concert mainstays, “Zip City” (which happens to be my favorite DBT song) and Sinkhole. They rocked through the set, their three guitar attack on fire tonight as they blazed through songs like “Nine Bullets,” “Birthday Boy,” and “Women Without Whiskey.” We were overjoyed to hear “The Living Bubba,” after their dedication of the song to Chris when we saw them in the Fall, and they ended the killer set as they have for years, with a killer rendition of “Lookout Mountain.”
Of course we knew that couldn’t be it and after a few minutes of adulation from the Oxford crowd, they exploded back onto the stage for a six song encore, beginning with the new tune “Used to Be a Cop,” followed by Cooley’s “Three Dimes Down,” a “Hell No I Ain’t Happy” sing-along, the up tempo “Get Downtown,” Shonna’s “(It’s Gonna Be) I Told You So,” and the big closer, “Let There Be Rock.”
By the end of the show we were completely spent in a good way. We loaded back into the jeep and made the late night (or early morning) drive back to Memphis, overjoyed to spend another night with the Drive-By Truckers.
The new album drops in two weeks and I can’t wait. Here is the complete setlist from the show.
Ray’s Automatic Weapon
Plastic Flowers on the Highway
I Do Believe
Women Without Whiskey
The Living Bubba
A Ghost to Most
Used to be a Cop
Three Dimes Down
Hell No I Ain’t Happy
I Told You So
Let There Be Rock
You can download the show here if you’re interested.