I’ve spent 48 1/2 years on this earth and I’ll admit I’ve still got an awful lot to learn. There are some things, however, that I am just about certain of; punk rock is the most underrated form of music out there and has influenced just about every music genre , Donald Trump is the most dangerous thing this country has ever seen, and The Drive-By Truckers are the best live band on the planet.
Of course, you are free to disagree, this is still America, after all, (at least for now), but I will never waver on a single one of these statements, so any arguments will be futile. I realize that music is such a personal things and that we, as individuals connect with bands on so many different levels and for so many different reasons. And for a person that sees bands weekly and loves music so deeply, I am really saying something with the fierceness in which I express this opinion. For the love of music, if you have not seen DBT live, just do it. I don’t care who you are, your mind will be blown.
I’ve been a huge fan of DBT for about 15 years, and every single year my love and appreciation for the band and this incredible music they make grows deeper. Their lyrics mean more and their convictions are ones that I hold true to my own heart. But despite the beautiful left leaning and socially just messages in their lyrics, despite the fact that they’ve been together for over 20 years, they play harder and better than anyone out there, possibly ever.
I am always excited by the prospect of bringing a new member into the ever growing legion of DBT fans. I invited the man I’d recently begun dating to the show. He’s a musician and although he had previousloy had no idea who DBT were, had enjoyed the music I’d shared with him so far. I had a photo pass for the show, and even though it was in DC, I knew I’d meet up with a few fellow “Heathens” (DBT fans) down there. So the two of us embarked on what should have been a 4.5 hours drive and it wound up taking 8 hours.
We arrived at the show with only minutes to spare, and there is no designated photo area at the venue. But by some miracle, just as we walked in, a space opened up right along the rail. This would be a clear and accurate predictor of how the rest of the weekend would go.
The night opened with a stellar performance by Hiss Golden Messenger, but truth be told, I was tired and could hardly wait for the headliners. Whenever I wake up on the morning of a DBT show, it feels like Christmas morning, as silly as that seems. I was so excited I could barely stand it.
This show was the second night of the DC stop and the end of this leg of the tour. The energy in the room was a living, breathing thing, I was certain magic would happen that night. The boys certainly did not disappoint. Nobody plays a show like Drive-By Truckers. They put their entire soul into it. They clearly love their music and it’s evident that they love their fans and have an incredible time playing for us.
We danced and sang and hollered our way through about 2.5 hours of one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The band played some of their best in addition to covers by Prince, The Ramones, John Lennon and Neil Young. The room was alive that night. And when the band exited the stage, I turned to my new boyfriend. He was sweating and smiling and exhausted. But he looked me right in the eye and told me that was one of the best live shows he’d ever seen. Right before my eyes, another Heathen was born.
That was 11 months ago. We are still together and going to see our 4th DBT show as a couple in Brooklyn on Friday. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Drive-By Truckers will be at the Brooklyn Bowl on 3/29 and 3/30. Hope to see you all at the rock show! We will be right up front!