Still Truckin’ October 31, 2011Posted by Matt in concerts.
Tags: concert, DBT fans are the best, drive-by truckers, Memphis, Mercy Buckets, New Daisy, setlist, zip city
I came, I saw, I went to another Drive-By Truckers show, my 2nd this year and 11th overall by my best recollection, and they continue to blow me away every time they take the stage. This weekend they played the New Daisy Theater in downtown Memphis, a place where singer Patterson Hood once worked long ago and that, I would imagine, holds a warm place in his heart.
I walked into the building alone, but it’s kind of unusual the way life is for diehard Trucker fans, for by the end of the night, it was as though I was surrounded by friends, people whom I had just met, yet felt a certain kinship towards, even after only 3 hours of loud music. As I mentioned earlier, I quickly fell in with people from Arkansas because of my Razorback hat, and soon I began to meet others. There was a couple from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the hometown of several of the band members. When I found that out, the conversation went something like this.
“Ok,” I said, “So, Zip City?”
The guy looked at me strangely, the light reflecting from his shaved bald head, “Yeah?”
“So, we were passing through the Florence area a couple of years ago and I took a detour to see the town. Zip City.”
“You,” he looked at me with incredulous disbelief, “went to Zip City? Really?”
“Yeah, sure did.”
He chuckled, “Ain’t much there, is there?”
“No, but I did get my picture taken in front of the Salem Church of Christ. Other than that, all I saw was the Zip City Volunteer Fire Department. There wasn’t even a city limit sign.”
Then the woman that was with him chimed in, “You know all those people and things that write about are real, especially Jason’s (Isbell) songs.”
“Yep. You know Holland Hill (from the song “Decoration Day”)? He’s a real person. The Hills still live in the Shoals today.”
“Wow,” is all I can say, awestruck at the revelation.
The man jumped back in, “They’re a great band and I’m glad to see them do so well, but back home they’re just like anybody else.”
The opening band of the night was Them Darlins, a mostly female outfit (only the drummer was male) who played a really great mix of 90’s-esque Riot Grrrl type songs with a distinctly southern sensibility. I enjoyed their show a great deal and after checking them out on Spotify I am a certified fan.
The Truckers hit the stage after 9:00, ripping through the up tempo Cooley tune, “Get Downtown,” before heavying things up a bit with “Drag the Lake Charlie” and “Where the Devil Don’t Stay.” The band was in excellent form, as always, as they tore through an excellent blend of songs from across their career. One of the highlights for me was a newer song of theirs, “Mercy Buckets,” which came near the end of the set. It’s a wonderfully emotional number, and you could see Patterson Hood pouring his heart and soul into it as he sang:
When all your good days keep getting shorter, count on me.
When you’re about 20 cents shy of a quarter, count on me.
When you just need a place to hide out for a while.
I’ll help you hide the bodies in a little while
I will bring you buckets of mercy,
And hold your hand when you’re crossing the street.
I’ll play a song if you want it.
It was a transcendent moment, and suddenly a song that I liked but never paid that much attention to became one of my favorites. It’s kind of funny the way a live show will do that to you.
It took until the encore before they played my very favorite DBT song, and one of my favorite songs by anybody all time, the aforementioned “Zip City,” and as always, it was incredible.
Seriously, if you’ve never seen the Drive-By Truckers live, do yourself a favor and catch them as soon as possible.
Here is the complete setlist:
Drag the Lake Charlie
Where the Devil Don’t Stay
Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife
A Ghost to Most
I’m Sorry Houston
The Tough Sell
Box of Spiders
Everybody Needs Love
Women Without Whiskey
Hell No, I Ain’t Happy
3 Dimes Down
Let There Be Rock
People Who Died