16 February 2009

Derek Trucks Band @ Water Street Music Hall

God I needed to see some live music. A month-long drought was just too much to take. But things seem to be picking up around here and hopefully with the weather turning, and the days lengthening, my motivation will increase. Lucky for me, one of my all-time favorite performers, Mr. Derek Trucks, brought his band to town last Friday night. They played to a sold-out crowd at the Water Street Music Hall. When they sell it out, they pack em in. It was jam packed all the way into the back of the hall, and the Club side was opened up and looked quite jammed as well.

After arriving purposefully late as to miss the opener, I squeezed my way into the front few rows. Maybe I am just shorter than I think I am, but I always seem to be stuck amongst the trees, neck craning. From experience I knew the crowd would thin a bit as the music finally got going, and would continue throughout the set, which thankfully it did.

The worst part about the set was the fact that someone from the venue came on to "psych up" the crowd before the band came on and let us in on this "secret" that the band was dying to play a long show and asked for no curfew. It was the worst because it could not have been further from the truth. They played a fairly standard, if it wasn't even shorter than usual, 100m set, with a short one song encore. I was fine with the length of the show, though the lying beforehand is just plain obnoxious and unnecessary.

The best part of the show was these 3 minutes of glory inside the My Favorite Things. This was the type of playing I missed during his set with Susan from this summer. They busted it out a little to early in the set though.

I am guessing the reason they did though was because Chuck Campbell came out about an hour into the set and sat in with the band for the rest of the show. This was the second best part of the show. On the flip side, it was also the second worst part of the show because he was too low in the mix and I would have liked to have seen more interplay between him and Derek. He was little underused.

Anyway, great show overall. Good to hear a lot of the new songs from their great new album, Already Free. I am not all too familiar with them but they sounded great live.

After the show, I headed over to Abilene. Wanted to check out this place for a while, and it was very close to the venue, much closer than I thought (finally starting to connect the dots in this small city.) Local act Walri was playing and I also have wanted to check them out, so it worked out nicely. Walked in as they were finishing up Hey Pockey Way. Then from there they busted into a David Bowie mini set, which included versions of Changes, Ziggy Stardust, and an exceptional Fame played with the perfect amount of funk and attitude. Closed the set with Big Boss Man and then took a break, so, tired, I did too. I wish I could have seen some of their original material, but that will have to wait until next time.

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