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Finally Seeing Tedeschi Trucks Band Live On Saturday Night Was A Musically Religious Experience

So after years and years of hearing White Sox Dave tell me that seeing Tedeschi Trucks Band live in concert needed to be on my bucket list, I finally got around to doing it this weekend.

Long story short, which I covered in an earlier blog, White Sox Dave scored UNREAL seats to the show and took Chief and I as his guests.

(Sidebar - I was never really torn between this decision, but I was generously offered tickets to go see Third Eye Blind at one of my new favorite venues in Chicago, The Salt Shed, also on Saturday night. I put this up to kind of troll WSD and our guy Johnny Kongos who is also a huge Tedeschi fan. I was shocked by the response. And sad I couldn't see both groups this weekend.)

I mean look at these seats Dave pulled from the band!

In my opinion, it doesn't get any better than the Chicago Theatre for concerts in Chicago.

Sure, it's only a 3,000 or so people cap, but there are no better-sounding venues in the city, and the ambiance is unbeatable. It's incredibly stunning, has so much nostalgia and history to it, and as weird as it is being on the stage level and being in rows of seats, I kind of like it because you don't have drunk assholes squeezing up from behind you, or trying to walk to the front of the stage, or spilling beers on you, etc.

From the second the band took the stage there was an electric charge through the air. 

I'd never seen a band that has two drummers, playing simultaneously, right next to each other. 

I've also never seen a band that has two guitarists as equally talented at Derek and Susan. 

I don't think I've ever seen a 12-piece band that is as fucking stockpiled with talent as this band was. (And I just saw Bruce and The E Street Band earlier in the week in Detroit, blog on this coming later). No joke, the backup singers, harmony vocalists Mike Mattison, Mark Rivers, and Alecia Chakour, were 3 of the best singers, never mind backup singers, I have heard in my life. Fucking incredible.

And then, on the other side, you had Kebbi Williams on the saxophone, Elizabeth Lee on the trombone, and Ephraim Owens on the trumpet who were also all world-class. 

A great thing that Derek and Susan do is give each band member their own time to shine, with either solo of their own, or having them up front to take lead vocals. It doesn't feel forced. And it doesn't feel the slightest bit rehearsed. There's a very improvisational "blues" feeling to their set that only comes by playing with the same people as long as they clearly have. Like synergy on the basketball court or ice rink, knowing where your teammate is going to be before they get there, these bandmates know exactly where each other are going with the song as they're performing it. It's amazing to witness.

Here's how the set ran.

Set 1:

  1. Stand Back / Mr. Clean

  2. Hear My Dear

  3. I Want More

  4. Life Is Crazy (Mike Mattison cover)

  5. D'Gary

  6. The Feeling Music Brings (Susan Tedeschi song)

  7. Emmaline

  8. Part of Me

  9. That Did It (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)

30-minute intermission

Set 2:

  1. I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy (O.V. Wright cover)

  2. Laugh About It

  3. Midnight in Harlem

  4. Yes We Will

  5. Ain't That Something

  6. Let Me Get By

  7. Leaving Trunk (Sleepy John Estes cover)

  8. Get What You Deserve (The Derek Trucks Band cover)

  9. Angel From Montgomery / Sugaree

  10. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free  (Billy Taylor cover)


  11. Fire and Rain (James Taylor cover)

  12. ¨C32C

(This was from the night before)

Keyboard player Gabe Dixon took the lead on “Ain’t That Something” and even he could fucking sing! 

I'd be remiss in writing a blog about Tedeschi Trucks and not mention Derek and Susan. But honestly what is there to say?

They are freaks of nature on the guitar. Both of them look and sound like they learned to play the guitar before either of them learned to walk. It's beyond instinctual for them. I turned to Dave throughout the show numerous times and commented on how fast Derek's hands moved up and down the neck of the guitar as his fingers repositioned at light speed. It was mesmerizing. 

I saw this video of him as a kid a few weeks ago and still can't get over t.

Their rendition of "Fire and Rain" was so unique and well done it would bring a tear to James Taylor's eye. And the thunderous closing song, "Let's Get Stoned", saw all 12 band members put the pedal to the floor and compliment each other perfectly for what felt like 15 minutes. I must have said "wow" to Dave 4 or 5 different times during the song. I was absolutely blown away.

The talent level in this band is unbelievable. You can laugh and call me a bitch all you want, but there is something so beautiful to me about seeing (and hearing) 12 people who were all put on this Earth to do something, discover it, and come together in the way Tedeschi Trucks Band has. 

I cannot encourage you to see them enough if you haven't yet. It wasn't just a concert, it was an experience in every sense of the word. I'm so mad I've slept on Tedeschi Trucks as long as I have but I can't wait to make up for it and see them again ASAP.

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