The Drive-By Truckers stopped in to NYC to play a free show last night at Battery Park’s Castle Clinton. Under threatening dark skies and the constant menace of severe weather the Alabaman southern rockers played a hearty mix of songs ranging from throughout their career - there were several promising new songs as well as tunes (“18 Wheels of Love”, “Buttholeville”) that dated back to the early days of the band. Patterson Hood, smiling and spreading his arms wide, seemed overjoyed to be playing in front of the NY audience, while Mike Cooley (whose songs were consistently well-received) had his usual stoicism going on. Spooner Oldham is now playing with the band, filling in on 3rd guitar and keys.
After Ranger Jim introduced the crowd to the castle’s illustrious history in a way that only he can (“now children, can you say Ellis Island?”) the band opened with Southern Rock Opera’s “Road Cases”. They went on to play songs from each of their albums, including a monstrous “Lookout Mountain”, the always awesome “Let There Be Rock”, a countrified “Carl Perkin’s Cadillac”, “Marry Me”, “Gravity’s Gone”, and “Putting People On The Moon”. It seemed like Hood and Cooley were having a blast trading off songs - each one seemingly out doing the other’s that came before. One of the night’s highlights may have been the cool breeze that sifted through the castle as the band launched into the ever-poignant “The Living Bubba”. The lowlight, and comic relief for my friends and I, was when the guy sitting in front of us called out for "Freebird!!!". As if that wasn't bad enough the guy across the way responded with a laughing "awesome man. I knew someone had to yell it!". No, actually no one had to yell it.
MP3 :: The Living Bubba (Live)
(from Alabama Ass Whuppin’. Buy here)
And a big thanks to the guy in the green shirt, Johnny Fabulous. He took all the pics (except this one where he wanted to walk all the way up to the front give us the "rock" sign. Owww!).