Saturday was a busy day for the Drive-By Truckers. Promoting the release of their new album, “English Oceans” (released last month), the band did a free show at Twist and Shout Records and followed it up with a 22-song, two-hour show at the Fillmore Auditorium.
Billed on the band’s website as the biggest venue the DBT has ever headlined, the band wasn’t quite able to sell out the Fillmore. Maybe Denver fans had gotten their fill on Saturday, or perhaps the band is best suited for smaller clubs and intimate settings. But the passionate group that did show up did so to get a chance to hear new material from DBT. And the band didn’t disappoint, playing eight of the 13 tracks from the new album, along with rock staples such as “Zip City” and “Sink Hole.”
A crowd of barrel chested, bearded men and blue collar women mouthed along with the Trucker’s Mike Cooley on lead vocals as he kicked off the show with the opening track off the new album, “Shit Shots Count.” In Trucker’s fashion, Cooley and bandmate Patterson Hood traded songs all night — both lending their distinct style and southern flair.
The Drive-By Trucker’s music has become the perfect marriage of ’90s grunge, southern rock and country music. The blend is perfectly executed on the new album, and when preformed live, guitarist/organist Jay Gonzalez, bassist Matt Patton and drummer Brad Morgan round out a solid complement to the Hood/Cooley songwriting.
Emotions ran high in the slightly too big venue as Drive-By Truckers ended the night with the new album’s finale, “Grand Canyon.” The band crashed out screaming guitar solos and vocals for a song written about the death of crew member Craig Lieske who passed in early 2013 of a heart attack.
Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.
Todd Radunsky is a Boulder-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.