06 July 2011

Boys at the Hood (show)

For Patterson Hood's encore set, the entire crowd bum-rushed the outdoor stage at Waverly, Ala.'s Standard Deluxe. It was dark at this point, with the glow from the stage only supplemented by a string of Christmasy lights overhead and the occasional burst of glee from a firefly.

Hood, of the Drive-By Truckers, spent last Saturday night telling stories, as he'd do with the whole band in their early, "18 Wheels of Love" era. But this encore was a high-energy jolt that proved to be the highlight of the night, including a now-rare performance of "Nine Bullets."

To no fault of Hood's, though, the frat-boy following he and his band draw continues to detract from their live show. "Mama Bake a Pie," the guy behind me screams all night, until Hood gamely played the song (which he didn't write). Then, two songs later, the dude's refrain begins again: "Mama Bake a PIE!" It's unclear if he doesn't remember Hood already played it or didn't care. The brainless dude is lost in the shuffle when we all run to the stage for the finale. But others step into the role.

"Ain't this great? Patterson never plays solo shows anymore," screams one guy to his friends, standing 8 feet from the man who is in the middle of a song, trying to play one of the rare shows. "There's an afterparty with Doc Daily," the guy continues. And all I can think is, "You know what it's the afterparty to? The show you're ignoring RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT."

Good lord, I'm getting old.

Hood's a professional, and he's dealt with worse. He was unfazed, if he even heard. And it was a great show, highlighted by some new tracks from a forthcoming (and still unrecorded) third solo record. "If y'all will come back and bring a friend, I'll come back around this time next year, and I'll bring TWO friends," he promised.

Now if we could only figure out how to leave a few of these people at home...

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