Friday, April 08, 2005

Drive By Truckers and Limbeck live at the Coach House

The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano is a wonderful place to see a concert, except for the sound. They have good equipment and generally do a good job at mixing. But, if you are near the front of the stage and it is at all loud, you will never hear the vocals. The speakers are above the stage and the sound pretty much goes over your head. What ends up happening are that the amps on stage end up blasting the front tables; therefore no vocals. That being said, Limbeck, the opening band, sounded really good. They are, if I have to label them, an Americana Power Pop Band. How’s that for a label? A more rockin’ John Mellencamp would make a good comparison I suppose. With a band like this though, the lyrics will make or break them. I have no clue. They do have a tendency to write about places; and not classic places either. Minneapolis, Virginia, Ohio, and Orange (okay they are a local band) give you an idea of where these guys travel. On a positive note, they have an EP that is acoustic versions of songs from their CD, “Hi, Everything’s Great”. Any band that is willing to re-record their songs in an acoustic setting must have something to say; right? Otherwise, we enjoyed their show and I look forward to listening more closely to their CD.

I have never seen the Drive By Truckers before and have only heard their latest CD which I really like. Deb, if you’re reading this, I think they played ACL last year and we didn’t see them. BIG MISTAKE. These guys (and gal) had the half filled Coach House, rockin’, performing music you just aren’t gonna hear anywhere else. This is a three guitar (plus bass and drums) army and when they are in sync, they blow through you like (oh I better not do that metaphor) radiation from an atomic blast (okay that may be overstating it a bit). But this isn’t just another loud band. These guys are mainly from Alabama and actually have something to say. They are as much Southern as they are dark. So we were all bouncing around to dark tunes about hurricanes destroying towns and people dying of cancer because they can’t afford chemo and of course those “pieces of sh*t” politicians. Unlike some political/social rockers who make happy music and sing about serious subjects (“Born in the USA”, need I say more?), there is nothing happy about most of these songs. They are loud and dark and, and, and irresistible. But what impressed me most about DBT last night was that they also know how to pace a show. They came out blasting with songs from their latest CD, “The Dirty South”. About 3 or 4 songs into the show, they slowly started slowing it down. By the third song in this section they had reached a very mellow point (really, three electric guitars and it was still mellow). They then started slowly building it back up until the finale where they just kicked the doors out of the place. The encore was a mixed bag of music that was interrupted 3 times by a waitress delivering shots to the band (did I mention that they were all swigging on a bottle of Jack throughout night?). They were at least smart enough to know that 2 was their limit on shots and left the last round for after the show I assume. With all the drinking going though, on this is still a no nonsense band. They didn’t talk to the audience much, but there was lots of eye contact and at one point all three guitars and the bass were out on the tables playing their guitars TO the crowd. This was one hot show. If you are anywhere near the El Ray tonight (Friday) GO SEE THEM. They will be up at the Fillmore on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

welcome to the dirty south,mthrfkr!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the "Dirty South"!! The Year of Rock is n full force with thi s3 gtar army!

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