Drive-By Truckers dominate the House of Blues

A review of Drive-By Truckers and Lucero at House of Blues on April 2, 2010

, Staff Writer

It was another whiskey-drenched night at the House of Blues as Drive-By Truckers and Lucero roared into town with a raging storm of heavy southern rock n’ roll. Packing a punch like a shots of Jack that keep on coming, Friday night’s show was a lesson in how to rock out.

After a blistering set by country-rock n’ soul jammers Lucero, Drive-By Truckers took to a stage decorated with cartoon illustrations of trains, elephants, dragons, and a southern gal with a shotgun. Opening with a massive rendition of “Drag The Lake Charlie,” the band made it clear that they were in town to dominate the house and melt faces across the floor.

Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley played like best friends who couldn’t stop trying to outdo each other on the guitar, and the result was a fireworks display that could hardly be controlled. In a good way. Shonna Tucker remains one of the most underrated bass players in the game and displayed her prowess again, putting down heady lines and maintaining a low profile, only taking the spotlight for “It’s Gonna Be (I Told You So)” John Neff’s pedal steel and guitar absolutely dominated.

With songs like “This Fucking Job” and “Hell No I Ain’t Happy,” you might think that a night with Drive-By Truckers would be bittersweet, if not depressing. But they’re not. The energy and passion of the music, combined with the obvious joy these guys get from playing music together supercede the darkness of the songwriting. The lyrics may lead you to believe there’s no hope, but there’s so much positive energy in the air, you can’t help but feel like dancing. Old tunes like “Road Cases” and the specialty pick of the night “The Night GG Allin Came To Town,” were the night’s gems. After rocking out for nearly two and a half hours, Drive-By Truckers proved why they’re fast becoming known as one of the best live band out there.

Lucero have been making their own blend of country-rock and Memphis soul for over a decade, and have finally been getting their due. Last year’s epic 1372 Overton Park showed up on a pile of top album lists, and their performance solidified their place as a truly spectacular band. Frontman Ben Nichols is a banshee with an “aw shucks” drawl. Precise yet jagged, Lucero tore through forty five minutes of snarling guitars and percussive horns. Though only joining Drive-By Truckers for two dates, they were the perfect band to start heating things up after a quality set by Langhorne Slim.

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