Drive-By Truckers 9:30 Club Setlist Table II: The Secret of the Ooze

It’s not much of a photo, but it was a pretty fantastic way to spend New Year’s Eve. That’s Booker T. Jones, stage-right, performing at the 9:30 with the Drive-By Truckers, a band I love and that I’ve written about a lot. The first time I saw them play was at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in 2003 or 2004. All I remember about that show is that my then-girlfriend had a pain in her leg and we left early. Since then, I’ve seen DBT play the 9:30 probably 10 times. When they were there for a Friday & Saturday night stay last February, I made a table to show how different the two setlists were. Hey, some people care about baseball statistics. (DBT singer-songwriter Mike Cooley does not.)

The two shows I saw on the last two nights of 2011 did not vary quite as much as that pair from earlier in the year, but the presence of Jones in the lineup, playing keyboard and guitar and singing standards like “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” (he played on Otis Redding‘s original recording of the song in 1967) or “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which he said he’d written for Albert King, made the show something special to witness.

Then there was that astonishing ending: “Angels and Fuselage,” the haunting coda to the Southern Rock Opera double-album, the one that my friends Jim and John Terp mailed to me in 2002 with a note explaining that I simply needed to hear it. I’d never heard that song performed live before. If there was any risk of the show settling into routine after frontman Patterson Hood counted out the final seconds of 2011, the encore section obliterated it.

So here’re the songs performed at the two shows I saw. The Truckers played the 9:30 on Thursday night, too, but I took my folks to the movies that night, which was a fair trade for not being there to hear “Carl Perkins’s Cadillac.”

Position Friday 12/30 Saturday 12/31
START 10:40 p.m. 11:10 p.m.
1 The Fourth Night of My Drinking Lookout Mountain
2 Gravity’s Gone Where the Devil Don’t Stay
3 The Southern Thing (for Wes Freed) Potato Hole
4 Where the Devil Don’t Stay Everybody Needs Love (Eddie Hinton)
5 Puttin’ People on the Moon A Ghost to Most
6 Self-Destructive Zones Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay (Booker T. lead vocal)
7 Sink Hole Oh Pretty Woman (Booker T. lead vocal)
8 Pin Hits the Shell Born Under a Bad Sign (Booker T. lead vocal)
9 World of Hurt Sink Hole
10 A Ghost to Most Checkout Time in Vegas
11 Goode’s Field Road 2012 Countdown – Green Onions
12 Women Without Whiskey World of Hurt
13 Ray’s Automatic Weapon Hell, No I Ain’t Happy
14 Birthday Boy Three Dimes Down
15 The Company I Keep Ronnie and Neil
16 Get Downtown Puttin’ People on the Moon
17 Hell No, I Ain’t Happy Marry Me

Three Dimes Down

I Can’t Turn You Loose
19 Used to Be a Cop ENCORE

Space City

20 Zip City Let There Be Rock
21 Ronnie and Neil Get Downtown
22 Marry Me The Righteous Path
23 Buttholeville Zip City
24 N/A Buttholeville
25 N/A Shut Up and Get on the Plane
26 N/A Angels and Fuselage
END 12:57 a.m. 2:00 a.m.
Patterson Hood songs 12 11
Mike Cooley songs 11 10
Booker T. Jones songs N/A 5

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