Monday, December 14, 2009

Joyful Noise: The Derek Trucks Band At The Egg

Good morning Fackers. When Matt and I first decided to go to the Derek Trucks concert at The Egg last night, there was a chance that it wouldn't overlap with the Giants game. NBC still had the option to flex another more significant game into that spot, but as it turns out, the match up between the G-Men and the Eagles was one of the more important games of the week.

In a way, attending the concert was a win-win proposition. If the Giants had won last night, we would have been thrilled but if they lost, we would have spared ourselves the agony of watching it all unfold. In either case, because of the venue, the performers and the circumstances, we were fairly certain that the concert was going to be one to remember.

The venue is an intimate 900 seat theater in a building called The Egg which feels even smaller than that. Since The Egg is a center for the performing arts and a non-profit, they rely on donors to keep it running and sell season tickets. The upshot is that there were a considerable amount of empty seats (maybe 5%), probably already paid for by people more interested in the ballets or orchestras that take the stage there.

The opening act was Shannon McNally who played with guitarist Eric Deaton. Before performing one of her original songs, she described how she sat in on the one microphone recording session done as a tribute in lieu of a funeral for Jim Dickinson, whom Matt paid homage to when he passed away back in August. Her last song was Long Black Veil, famously covered by both Johnny Cash and The Band (among others) and McNally said that the latter version was what made her want to become a musician.

There was a short intermission before Derek Trucks and the rest of the band took the stage. As Matt mentioned yesterday, it was dTb's last show for the foreseeable future, but it didn't contain any long speeches or list of "thank yous". It did, however, contain two sets of music and an encore, something which the rest of their shows on this tour have not.

The crowd was remained seated for most of the show, with the notable exception of a guy in front of us with a "Got Melky" t-shirt who couldn't contain himself during a few of the tunes. The acoustics were crystal clear, in equal parts due to the design of the auditorium, the pure sound of the band and the largely polite crowd who cheered at times during changes within a song but mostly reserved their applause and chatter until their completion.

They opened with Soul Serenade, a song by King Curtis covered by Duane Allman and more recently, recorded by dTb for the title track of one of their albums. The first set also included personal favorites I Wish I Knew, Get What You Deserve, Volunteered Slavery, Already Free and a blistering version of the Bob Dylan tune Down In The Flood.

The second set consisted of some older tunes like 555 Lake, which was on their first (self-titled) album, along with dTb staples Leaving Trunk and Gonna Move. It also featured two Derek and the Dominoes tunes - the appropriately chosen Key To The Highway which came late in the set, and a long and winding version of Anyday which was chosen as the encore (although without the song's last verse).

Before the band started up with the 2nd set closer Joyful Noise, drummer Yonrico Scott stood up to the microphone behind his kit and said "So, after 16 years...", a reference to how long the band had been touring. However, he didn't finish. Or maybe that's all he had planned to say. And maybe that's because The Derek Trucks Band isn't finished.

Who knows what this hiatus will bring for Derek and what direction he will go in next. But it's hard to imagine the seemingly effortless chemistry between Trucks, Scott, vocalist Mike Mattison, keyboardist Kofi Burbridge, bassist Todd Smalley and percussionist Count M'butu not being rekindled at some point in the future.

Since I haven't found it anywhere else online, here is the setlist as Matt transcribed it last night.
Set 1
Soul Serenade
Preachin' Blues
I Wish I Knew
Get What You Deserve
Volunteered Slavery
Already Free
Yield Not To Temptation
Down in the Flood

Set 2
Leaving Trunk
555 Lake (instrumental)
Sweet Inspiration
Young Funk
Home In Your Heart
Gonna Move >
Key to the Highway
My Favorite Things
Joyful Noise

E: Anyday

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I remember I went to a Chili Peppers concert in Albany and before hand I was in the parking lot starring at The Egg wondering what it was. Thanks. Mystery solved.