The Drive By Truckers/A3/Alejandro Escovedo and Lucinda Williams; July 3, 2008; Summerfest,
I was seriously considering driving to
I can tell you this with certainty; there is no way I am waiting eight years to see them again. A plane ticket to the
If you looked up “cool” in a
Surprisingly, for the most part they drew their set list from the awesome first record Exile on Coldharbour Lane, even though they have released four full lengths since then. I’m not one to argue, with songs like “Hypo Full of Love” and “The Night We Nearly Got Busted,” that has always been my favorite. The country flavored “U Don’t Dance 2 Techno Anymore,” has been a mix tape staple of mine for years, though I was disappointed that the Reverend D Wayne Love did not deliver his rambling monologue which ends “One night she took this funny little heart shaped pill, and just died right there on the dance floor, and now she don’t dance to techno anymore.” Then again, since not much he said was intelligible anyway, maybe I’m not so disappointed. Whether intentional or not, I am pretty sure the Reverend has never done one thing that was good for him. Even though he really doesn’t do much, the band wouldn’t be the same without him.
Summerfest is not usually the best way to see a band, but from their opening Sopranos theme to closer “Hello I’m Johnny Cash,” A3 put on a truly amazing show. I was the only one of our crowd who had seen them before, and half of them had never even heard their music, but the opinion was unanimous, they all loved them. Hopefully they won’t wait 8 years to get back to the States.
A3 were the best show that day, but there was no shortage of great music. Alejandro Escovedo put on an electric performance just as it started getting dark. Touring behind his new rocker Real Animal he put on a high powered show that turned up the energy from previous shows. The interesting thing was that he did it with the same band he always has, notably
The honor of the second best set of the day goes to the Drive By Truckers. I’ve long believed them to be one of the top five live bands in the world, so it is hard to believe that they could have been bested by a bunch of Brits. It was definitely a solid set from a band that never lets me down, that’s just how good A3 was. Early on they played Pete’s favorite “Uncle Frank,” a song that doesn’t show up in their sets all that often. I was happy too since “Sinkhole” and “Shut Your Mouth and Get your Ass on the Plane,” my favorites from Patterson and Cooley respectively, were part of their near two hour set. They alternated songs for nearly the entire time, only breaking that pattern to allow bassist Shonna Tucker to sing her sweetly heartbreaking “I’m Sorry Huston.” As opposed to their show earlier this year at the Pabst which featured new material in the first half of the show before giving way to older stuff later, this afternoon show had a nice mix throughout.
As always, Patterson seemed to be having the time of his life, grinning from ear to ear from start to finish. “18 Wheels of Love” was again prefaced by the story of his divorced mother marrying a truck driver that is as much a part of the song as the song itself. The health report on that driver,
It is unusual to see what should be a headlining band at 3 pm on a Thursday at Summerfest, and I still don’t know how we got so lucky, but I’m certainly not complaining. Today’s music selection brought back my faith in a fest that I had lost interest in years ago. Thank you.