I had never seen Georgia based band Drive By Truckers before, and I was extremely excited to photograph and experience a night of live music at Shepherds Bush Empire. The band’s music dates back three decades now and I spent the days prior to the show catching up on the music I was previously unfamiliar with.
The show was the closing date of their UK tour and it looked to be a really cracking gig with the crowd at the Empire eager for some great rock music.
Heartless Bastards, a four piece from Ohio, opened the show up. Front-lady Erika Wennerstrom delivered a powerful performance with a strong stage presence. The opening act had a good mix of blues and country music and I would recommend giving them a listen.
The now packed venue greeted the band with a roar as Drive By Truckers casually entered the stage. Vocalists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood rotated vocal duties, with Cooley opening the set up with Made Up English Oceans from their 12th album English Oceans, followed by Patterson with Girls Who Smoke.
Some of the many highlights of the show were the great southern drawl cover Play It All Night Long written by Warren Zevon with the chorus line “Sweet Home Alabama, play that dead band’s song” and the song Lookout Mountain from the 2004 album The Dirty South. If you have never been to Lookout Mountain in Georgia then Google it to see what they are sing about…watch out for that drop.
The band played for about two hours building up a wholesome sweat, dedicating the emotional closing song ‘Grand Canyon‘ to a friend of the band, Craig Lieske, who died last year.
Live review and photographs by Solange Moreilla-Yeoell. Drive By Truckers @ Shepherds Bush Empire 13th May 2014.