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Drive-By Truckers with Blitzen Trapper
Turner Hall Ballroom
Milwaukee, WI
March 26, 2014
Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers

Story and photos by Jennifer Bronenkant

It was a night of storytelling at Turner Hall relayed with two distinct accents: the Southern Gothic flavored Rock of the Drive-by Truckers and the Pacific Coast folk/country flavored with more than a touch of funk of Blitzen Trapper.

Opening the evening was Portland, Oregon's Blitzen Trapper with their self-described "Rocky Mountain Whoop-ass" style which is an joyful mix of Americana often reminiscent of 1960's and 70's influences Neil Young, The Band, Dylan among others that has been spun into their own distinctive flavor of Americana Roots based music.

Eric Earley fronts the group as lead vocal and primary writer but this band is a collaborative group on stage with instrumentals and vocals being shared by all members: Erik Menteer on guitar, Brian Adrian Koch on drums, Michael Van Pelt on bass and Marty Marquis on keyboard.

The set this evening included new songs from their latest album, VII mixed with some of their older pieces. "Feel The Chill" and "Thirsty Man" tell stories in a darkness that speaks to Drive-By Truckers fans yet comes from such a different place musically that they made a refreshing addition as the opener. Vocal harmonies and over-all sound harkened back to Levon Helm style rootsy rock goodness in "Jericho" and "Big Black Bird." A great cover of "Rocky Mountain Way" got the heads bopping throughout the house.

Drive-by Truckers are touring in support of English Oceans, released this month, which is a return back to the band's rock and roll foundation from their diversion into the Muscle Shoals sound in their previous release Go-Go Boots. Although their live performances generally have been equally divided between the two founders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, this latest release is the first to include as much of Cooley's songs as Hood's. English Oceans was well covered in a set that included nine of the 13 album songs such as "When He's Gone," "Pauline Hawkins" and "Shit Shots Count."

The crowd started thinning out rather early. Perhaps that is why this band that routinely plays three hour sets was done in two. Still there was plenty of room in the solid two hour set to give fans a good selection of older favorites like "3 Dimes Down," "Heathens" and "Women Without Whiskey" before closing the main set with Hood's raw rocker "Hell No, I Ain't Happy."

The band came back for a four number encore ending with "Grand Canyon" which was written after the sudden death of band friend and longtime merch guy Craig Lieske. Towards the end of the song, Hood got down on the floor to let out a powerful dirge through his guitar before leaving the stage while the rest of the band played on. Each member left the stage one by one until the only member still playing was the drummer who ended the show when he put his sticks down and left the stage.
Blitzen Trapper and Drive-By Truckers Set Lists:
Blitzen Trapper Set List:

Feel The Chill
Thirsty Man
Love The Way You Walk Away
Black River Killer
Valley of Death
Rocky Mountain Way
Big Black Bird
Drive-By Truckers Set List:

3 Dimes Down
When He's Gone
Sounds Better In The Song
Primer Coat
The Part Of Him
Til He's Dead Or Rising
Pauline Hawkins
Women Without Whiskey
Feb 14
Hearing Jimmy Loud
Ronnie And Neil
72 (This Highway's Mean)
Lookout Mountain
Made Up English Oceans
Girls Who Smoke
Birthday Boy
Hell No, I Ain't Happy

Shit Shots Count
Zip City
Grand Canyon

Related articles:

Drive-By Truckers / Those Darlins - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - October 2011
Drive-By Truckers (Dave Matthews Band Caravan) - Concert review - Chicago, IL - July 2011
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Drive-By Truckers - Photo gallery - Chicago, IL - July 2010
Drive-By Truckers - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - February 2008
Drive-By Truckers (Voodoo Music Experience 2006) - Festival review - New Orleans, LA - October 2006
Drive-By Truckers (Lollapalooza 2005) - Festival review - Chicago, IL - July 2005

Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Drive-By Truckers
Drive-By Truckers
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper

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