Monday, November 17, 2008

Rock 'n Roll Means Well

Rock 'n roll means well
but can't help tellin' young boys lies

Last night Liz and I went to the Hold Steady / Drive-by Truckers show at First Ave. and it was a great one. It's so rare to get two amazing bands like that on the same bill (at least outside of the oversaturated and soulless festival circuit). Drive-by Truckers played first for about 75 minutes and were very impressive. I'd seen them a few years ago at the 400 Bar and actually left before they finished their 2+ hour set that night. And a couple years ago one of their three(!) terrific songwriters, Jason Isbell, left the band to go solo. I feared that they might miss him but they did not. The other two songwriters, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, are equally as talented and they didn't skip a beat. Highlights for me included "Carl Perkins' Cadillac", "Sink Hole" and the opener (and title track of the Rock 'n Roll Means Well tour as quoted above) "Marry Me".

The Hold Steady set was great, too, but I'd seen them just a couple months ago so I pretty much knew what to expect. A highlight of the night was the hootenany encore with both bands 10 musicians up on stage for 3 songs including the Truckers' "Let There Be Rock" and a sweet cover of The Band's "Look Out Cleveland".

And oh, before the final encore a "Yes we can!" chant arose from the crowd. Do you think that is happening at rock shows all across the country? Cuz that'd be pretty amazing if a President Elect could actually stir the American people with a grassroots message like that.

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