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Deeply personal southern rock

Drive-By Truckers
Pabst Theatre
Milwaukee, WI
Feb. 28, 2008
Drive-By Truckers Drive-By Truckers Drive-By Truckers

Story and photos by Matt Schwenke

In the next turn along a seemingly ever-shifting storyline, the Drive-By Truckers' appearance at the Pabst Theatre came in support of the Athens via Alabama rockers' eighth album and marks the first tour since the departure of long-time, third guitarist Jason Isbell. Despite the change in lineup, an almost familial bunch of rowdy fans packed the first floor of the venue for a night of deeply personal and deeply southern rock.

With original members Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood sharing the lead vocal role for most of the night, the band almost exclusively relied on their new material, only delving into their back catalogue briefly and later in the set. Hood's songwriting started the evening with his "Two Daughters and A Beautiful Wife," from the new album Brighter Than Creation's Dark, while Cooley's first offering from the new album came in "Three Dimes Down." Isabell's replacement, John Neff, made his unique presence known with pedal steel on "A Ghost to Most," and relative new-comer, bassist Shonna Tucker, dropped her latest songwriting msuings on the crowd in "I'm Sorry Houston."

As the crowd loosened up, and the band slowly emptied their jugs, the Drive-By Truckers began to peel back their solid rock layers-- pulling a single tune from A Blessing and A Curse(2006), a couple from Decoration Day (2003), and a handful from Southern Rock Opera (2001)-- until arriving at their southern country roots in "Buttholeville" from their 1998 debut Gangstabilly.

Drive-By Truckers' setlist,
Pabst Theatre, 2/28/08:
Two Daughters and A Beautiful Wife
Daddy Needs A Drink
Three Dimes Down
The Man I Shot
A Ghost to Most
Sink Hole
Marry Me
Dead, Drunk, and Naked
Guitar Man Upstairs
I'm Sorry Houston
The Opening Act
Gravity's Gone
Checkout Time In Vegas
You and Your Crystal Meth
Goode's Field Road
Shut Up and Get On the Plane
Women Without Whiskey
18 Wheels of Love
Let There Be Rock
State Trooper
Buttholeville (reprise)
Drive-By Truckers Drive-By Truckers Drive-By Truckers

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