On Tuesday night, October 9th, Tedeschi Trucks Band returned to their favorite haunt, New York’s Beacon Theatre, to commence the midweek portion of their six-night 2018 Big Apple residency. The performance, which featured an opening solo set by multiple Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Steve Earle, marked TTB’s 30th overall show at the Beacon.
In a powerful contrast from Tedeschi Trucks Band’s full-bodied 12-piece sound, Steve Earle began the evening simply, with just his acoustic instrumnets and the charismatic grit of his legendary singing voice. Amid selections from his decades-long catalog, Earle bantered affably with the crowd, joking that his set “seems to be listing irresistibly toward the blues…Might as well surrender…”
After performing “South Nashville Blues”, the 24-years-sober Earle explained the drawbacks of playing that particular tune (it overly romanticizes his drug and crime days) and offered the antidote to that dilemma with his next song, the much darker “CCKMP (Cocaine Cannot Kill My Pain)”. He also picked up his beloved mandolin (“This is my favorite thing in the world”) for set-closing runs through “Tell Moses”, which he co-wrote with Shawn Colvin, and hit single “Copperhead Road”.
As he left the stage, Earle thanked the Beacon and offered a whole-hearted endorsement of the set to come: “Get ready for the best band in America, Tedeschi Trucks!”
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Following a break, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and company took the stage and continued Earle’s bluesy list with a set-opening cover of “Statesboro Blues”, a nod to the many renditions of the song played by the Allman Brothers Band during their own storied Beacon residencies. The first “Simple Things” since February came next, followed by the first 2018 rendition of “Learn How To Love”, the Revelator track penned by Derek and Susan with help from Lettuce’s Eric Krasno, Adam Deitch, and Adam Smirnoff.
A cover of The Lovin’ Spoonful‘s “Darlin’ Be Home Soon” got the call next before Mike Mattison stepped to center stage for a rousing reading of Allen Toussaint‘s “Get Out Of My Life, Woman”. The show’s blues-heavy aesthetic continued as Tedeschi Trucks rattled off renditions of “Shelter”, Ruth Brown‘s “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean”, and “All That I Need”, the latter of which featured some entrancing flute work by Kofi Burbridge and a towering, cathartic release.
Blues standard “The Sky Is Crying” came next, Susan Tedeschi laying into a searing solo as Derek fought through some onstage technical issues. Tedeschi shined on vocals once again on Made Up Mind track “Part of Me”, written along with Doyle Bramhall II, who joined the band onstage on the first night of their Beacon stint.
Little Milton‘s “More & More” followed before the highlight jam of the night, “Bound For Glory”, took the band out into the ether and back again for an impressive finish. TTB’s fan-favorite pairing of newly minted Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee John Prine‘s “Angel From Montgomery” and the Grateful Dead‘s “Sugaree” guided the show into its home stretch before Let Me Get By staple “I Want More” rounded out the set, complete with a mid-song onstage string change by Trucks.
— Tedeschi Trucks Band (@DerekAndSusan) October 10, 2018
For their encore, Derek and Susan re-emerged with the full band in tow for a pair of covers including George Harrison‘s “Isn’t It A Pity” and a rousing sing-along rendition of The Coasters‘ “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, which saw each of the vocalists onstage take lead for a verse. Susan commanded the final number with rockstar swagger, ad-libbing about the joys of having a drink or a smoke now and again and waxing hopeful about a future where weed is legal in all 50 states.
With that, Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 2018 Beacon Theatre residency reached its midway point (and, for those keeping score, they haven’t yet repeated a song). The party continues tonight with help from JJ Grey.
Below, you can watch a selection of videos from Tuesday’s performance and check out a gallery of photos courtesy of photographer Kevin Cole:
Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Statesboro Blues” [Blind Willie McTell cover]
[Video: Sean Roche]
Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Simple Things”
[Video: Sean Roche]
Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Get Out Of My Life, Woman” [Allen Toussaint cover]
[Video: Sean Roche]
Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Angel From Montgomery”/”Sugaree” [John Prine/Grateful Dead cover]
[Video: Borrowed Tune]
Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Isn’t It A Pity” [George Harrison cover]
Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band | The Beacon Theatre | New York, NY | 10/9/18
Set: Statesboro Blues, Simple Things, Learn How To Love, Darlin’ Be Home Soon, Get Out Of My Life, Woman, Shelter, Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean, All That I Need, The Sky Is Crying, Part Of Me, More & More, Angel From Montgomery/Sugaree, I Want More
Encore: Isn’t It A Pity, Let’s Go Get Stoned