Tedeschi Trucks Band launched their Summer Wheels of Soul Tour on Friday night in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place, a state-of-the-art amphitheater adjacent to the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The band also played the new venue’s inaugural show just over a year ago, the same day the world lost Gregg Allman. A year later, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, the magnetic husband-wife duo who lead the electrifying 12-piece ensemble, chose their hometown for the beginning of this tour. Supported by opening acts Drive-By Truckers and The Marcus King Band, the packed house was indeed treated to a momentous evening of music.
The Marcus King Band opened the show at 7:00pm and played one searing selection after another for the jam-band crowd. The five-song set included “Virginia,” “Self-Hatred” (featuring a “Fire on the Mountain” jam), “Man You Didn’t Know”, and “Plant Your Corn Early” from the band’s 2016 self-titled album (produced by Warren Haynes) as well as a new cut, “Goodbye Carolina.” Supported by band members Jack Ryan (drums),Stephen Campbell (bass), Justin Johnson (trumpet/trombone/backing vocals), Dean Mitchell(saxophones) and Deshawn Alexander (organ/keyboards), King’s gritty, soul-infused vocals and scorching guitar licks enthralled the rapt audience for a 30-minute set that was over in the blink of an eye.
Taking the stage at 7:50pm, Southern/country rockers, Drive-By Truckers, offered their unique, high-energy, guitar-driven grooves and were the perfect complement to the bands before and after. Founded by Patterson Hood (guitarist/lead vocals, son of David Hood, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section/“The Swampers” bassist) and Mike Cooley (guitarist/banjo/lead vocals), the band also includes Brad Morgan (drums), Jay Gonzalez (keys/guitar/accordion/backing vocals) and Matt Patton(bass/backing vocals). Plowing through their catalog with cuts such as “Baggage,” “3 Dimes Down,” “Ronnie and Neil” and “Let There Be Rock,” the one-hour set offered a healthy mix of their material and the concertgoers heartily approved.
At 9:20pm, headliners Tedeschi Trucks Band kicked off their 100-minute set and thrilled their devotees from the very first note. The stellar backing band includes Kofi Burbridge (keys/flute), Tyler Greenwelland J.J. Johnson (drums/percussion), Tim Lefebvre (bass), Mike Mattison, Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour (harmony vocals), Kebbi Williams (saxophone), Elizabeth Lea (trombone) and Ephraim Owens (trumpet).
Fresh and energetic after a brief tour respite, the monster ensemble sounded better than ever. Trucks was in high spirits, smiling and laughing for the hometown fans. Song selection was heavily focused on the band’s two most recent albums, including the opener, “Laugh About It,” “Right On Time” (with Mike Mattison on lead vocals) and “Don’t Know What It Means” (featuring a fabulous solo from Tedeschi and a frenetic jam at the end including a Kebbi Willams sax solo) off Let Me Get By(2016). Also in the mix were “Part Of Me,” “Tell The Truth” and “The Storm” from Made Up Mind (2013), with a killer Trucks guitar solo during which Tedeschi sat down on a riser and enjoyed her husband’s performance.
The band then segued into a portion of Allman Brothers Band favorite, “Whipping Post,” a real evening highlight. Digging deep into the well, the collective offered up the Derek Trucks Band/Bob Dylan cover, “Down In The Flood” (Already Free, 2009) as well as the Dylan cover, “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963). Peppered within was a new track called “Shame” from a forthcoming release as well as the B.B. King cover, “How Blue Can You Get.” Exiting for a few minutes at 10:35pm, the band reemerged at 10:40pm for a two-song encore consisting of fan favorite, “Midnight In Harlem (a Mattison/Trucks original from Revelator, 2011) and finally, the Joe Tex cover, “Show Me,” featuring Mark Rivers on vocals. Ever conscious of the adoring fan base, Tedeschi made a point of acknowledging them. “You guys sound great out there! Thank you so much!”
While many were hoping for a special guest appearance from Marcus King during the TTB set, it never did materialize. As the newly initiated tour continues, however, it certainly could still happen.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band tour with Drive-By Truckers and The Marcus King Band continues through July 29, wrapping up at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. For a full list of upcoming dates, head here.
Below, you can check out a full gallery of photos from all three bands’ Wheels of Soul Tour performances in Jacksonville courtesy of Michael Yanko.