Through 25 years, two lineup arrangements and eight albums, it’s really hard to believe that September 26, 2008 was the Drive-By Truckers’ first ever appearance on PBS’s Austin City Limits. Seizing the opportunity, Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood and Co. put on a show that, while more sober than most, is as good as I’ve seen from them.
The pressed collars and the lower volumes allows the strength of the songs themselves to really stand out to the point where I’ve had to rethink some songs I didn’t even like (“Puttin’ People On The Moon”, “Space City”) prior to watching the DVD. I was also really happy to see personal faves like “Zip City” and “The Living Bubba” make it into the performance. One real high point of the performance has to be “18 Wheels of Love”, which also happens to be “the final performance of the song ever”, where Patterson adds another chapter to his mother & stepfather’s story that is almost too good to be true (but you’ll have to buy the album to hear it).
While the cd of this release is good enough, the real value is the multi-angle wide-screen HD video/DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound DVD. The dvd begs for you to pour a whiskey drink, turn the volume up to 20, sit back, close your eyes and enjoy. While it won’t live up to a real life DBT show, it will certainly help fill the void in between them.