Friday, December 05, 2008

Rock and Roll Means Well - Fillmore - San Francisco - 11/23/08

Is there greater joy in the world than watching Shonna Tucker play bass?

Viewing Neff's stoic mastery of the pedal steel and shockingly good guitar solos?

Jay Gonzalez's spirit world keys?

The funky precision of EZB?

The showmanship of Patterson who in an earlier age would of made a killing as a ring leader/owner of a traveling circus? Greatest show on earth?!? Ringling ain't got shit on Patterson Hood. (I recently finished a book on circuses in the depression era '30s thus the analogy)

The rock jeebus Mike Cooley whose two performances in SF transcended anything I've witnessed from him previously by a country mile. And all past performances have been GREAT!

"Rock and Roll means well but it can't help telling young boys lies."

If that be the case, then lie to me baby. Lie to me, lie about me, and most importantly lie on top of me.

But that's a lie itself.

Rock and Roll does mean well and I'm here to prove it.

My lot in the DBT family has changed since I first saw the band in 2002 at the Fillmore opening for Gov't Mule (oddly enough, Mule played the two nights before DBT and THS). The 2nd time of 19 DBT has played in San Francisco. (Third song of the set... Sinkhole.. change me forever followed by a song about a highway that I'd driven a million times). Six years ago there was no lot.

Six years later my life has literally changed for the greater. I'm so grateful for that change and eternally grateful to those who allowed and fostered that change.

Witness, the name of the blog and all of the good friends I've made for life through the DBT extended family.

As a lad I discovered the author Richard Bach.

In J.L. Seagull he writes:

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”

As a non-religious man I still feel 'blessed' that this statement applies to my feelings towards the Drive-by Truckers.

With that said, I feel much less inclined these days to write as definitively as I have in the past of my experiences at The Rock Show.

It is something I hold dear... and I'm selfish in a way... and some things you just want to keep for yourself.

So not as much weaving, though that does remind me that I got my hair done that Sunday by the hottest hair cuttin' chick in San Francisco, Sofia. Loves me some Sofia Palumbo.

With all that sap said, here's some quick hits of my experience of Night 1 of the Rock Show at the Fillmore on November 23rd, 2008:

A pre-show dinner at Thai Stick 2001 where a table full of fans were also getting their grub on.

Thai Stick On Fillmore - Pacific Heights - San Francisco, CA - Yelp:

I had the pleasure of meeting one of DBT's managers, Christine. Great to meet you, C. and hope to see you at a show in the future.

First time viewing the Opening Act The Hold Steady. A band who paints pictures in my head as vivid as the Truckers do. After incessantly listening to Separation Sunday and Boys and Girls the 2 months before the show, it was wonderful to see this incredible act live on stage. They definitely 'take a deep breath and give it everything they got'.

I had the honor and privilege of watching DBT's set with Randy Tucker, Shonna's brother, who made his first trip to the Fillmore to watch sis tear it up on stage. Twas very cool watching the show at the Fillmore with a fellow North Alabamian. It is still surreal for DBT to sing songs about the people and places I grew up with 2,500 miles from the original locale while 1500 hundred people singing along. I was glad to of shared that with Randy. Had a great time hanging with him.

Show highlights:

I'm Your Puppet with Kelly Hogan. I don't know if Patterson and Kelly have done this one together before but it looked and sounded like they've sang this duet for decades.

Angels and Fuselage. I'm seen this before at The Dirt Underneath shows, but the Rock Show treatment of this song is utterly amazing.

Steve McQueen. A San Francisco must.

Goode's Field Road. As funky as they wanna be. Great version.

Home Field Advantage. Shonna. What else can be said.

The entire encore with the Hold Steady. Damn, did that mass of rock and roll humanity light that joint on fire.

I know I probably written this a thousand times before, but I really, really mean it this time. This was the best I've ever seen the Truckers. How they keep getting better and better is a question I never want answered. Jay Gonzalez runs full speed with the band now. His keys and Neff's pedal together.... simply 'gotdamn'. Shonna and EZB... best rhythm section in existence... though THS's is pretty damn good too. Patterson and Cooley.... any other band in the land would kill to have just one of these guys fronting. DBT has both. And embarrassment of riches.

Not to mention the best crew in the land led by the best sound/road manager, Matador.

I predict 2009 will be the greatest Trucker year yet. By god, there's a little gold paper plated weight waiting for them in aught '10. Not that that would validate DBT by any stretch. Its just inevitable that the faux taste makers will have to eventually bow to this band. And bow deep. Shit, they probably need to bend over too for all the tripe they sling our way. (Warning: I've caught wind that 'Creed' may be reforming. Be prepared.... to Cheney somebody in the face if this occurs.)

Here's the setlist for both nights:

dbts : Message: Dbts setlist / San Francisco - 11/23 - Message Board • View topic - Fillmore 11/24

And here are pics from Night One. Night 2 coming early next week and an additional post shouting out to all of the fans at the shows.

Oh boy, did we ever have....
...some massive nights
every song was right
all that wine is tight
yea your friends are pretty cool and my friends were acting cool

I worked like hell to get this shot. It was the best of the lot.

Hey, you try taking pictures while holding a beer. AND, the camera is battle tested, baby. There's so much shit from previous shows embedded into the lens that no amount of lick and wipe will cleanse.


Kinda proud of this one.


BBQ'd Blue Oyster Cult... with hush puppies.

Next up: A little band I like to call Drive-by Truckers

No, I'm your puppet.

Shonna should always be greated with a bow and a kneel.

Tradin' Spaces.


Encore with The Hold Steady

Bromance Tour 2008*
*ManLove already taken

No, seriously, thank you. All y'all.

Here's a few links of what other wrote about the show:

Drive-By Truckers/Hold Steady | 11.23 | SF on JamBase:

"It's fitting because you can really feel DBT in the marrow of you. They're a rhythm 'n' blues spinal tap that can leave you stirred up."

... and I feel fine.: One down, One to go

... and I feel fine.: ...trying to hold steady on the righteous path


Front row YouTube of Let There Be Rock.

YouTube - The Hold Steady and Drive By Truckers encore at Fillmore 11.23.2008



Anonymous said...

That makes my heart swell with love and happiness.

AAW said...

Is your tongue in your cheek, ant?


Me too.

AAW said...

and in front of the stage... to the side of the stage... joy all around, Jack.

Great time.

Anonymous said...

No man. Fo' real! I love it when music makes people feel good. It takes you a little outside yourself. Allows you to be an introvert and extrovert at the same time. Makes your body get loose and your emotions get high.

AAW said...

Man, you nailed it, Ant. I may quote you on that one.

Unknown said...

Jason, it was an honor and pleasure meeting you.
People at DBT shows are some of nicest people you can meet

AAW said...

Same here, Henry.

And I couldn't agree more!

David Johnsen said...

Kelly Hogan joined the band for "I'm Your Puppet" and "Angels and Fuselage" in Chicago at The Dirt Underneath show in October 2007 (with writer Spooner Oldham on keys). She also joined Patterson solo for those two songs when he returned to Chicago in December 2007. Did Kelly move from Chicago to SF?

The DBT/THS unified scene was so awesome in Chicago that I came this close to making a spontaneous West Coast trip to see it again and again. The encore was transcendent!

AAW said...

Very cool, David. I've seen Spooner sing and play Puppet with DBT but never Kelly and Patterson. It was great!

Next time come on out to SF. Fillmore shows are really special.

Love Chicago! Great city!

Anonymous said...


Wrote a really long response and deleted it. But nice job on this one. Thanks for writing it.


AAW said...

Thanks, dlc!

Anonymous said...


Those two nights were another high point in my DBT experience. thought that the DBT were phenominal both nights, sorry I didn't run into you this time around. next time we got to meet for a beverage.
Loved the review and the pics, the b/w of Cooley may be my All time favorite DBT pic.
Happy Holidays!
Peter G.

AAW said...

The Fillmore shows are always special, Peter, but these last two were incredible.... and we'll get a new albums in 09... gonna be another great year.

We'll definitely try and hook up for an adult beverage.

I'll have some night 2 pics posted shortly. That's when I snapped the Cooley picture.

Happy Holidays back atcha!