This was one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. So many of the songs Tedeschi Trucks Band and Los Lobos played Aug. 28 in Reno were built around extended solos with gradual crescendos and diminuendos, it was hard to take it all in without my jaw dropping.
This show was a good bang for the buck too, running for about four hours. Gabe Dixon, keyboardist and vocalist for the Tedeschi Trucks Band opened with his own trio featuring Dan Asher on bass and Randy Schrager on drums. They played a short set where Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks took turns coming out and joining them. Their set included a wonderful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Tangled up In Blue.”
Then came Los Lobos. My oh my, did they ever bring it. This 6-piece band came out of East LA in the ‘70s and they are still going strong. They are a combination of rock and roll, Latin, jam band, Tex-Mex, blues, plus more than I can’t remember. Susan and Derek again came out and joined. I’ve heard them live before, but don’t remember them doing the long, dynamic jams described above. They were incredible. It had a very Grateful Dead vibe at times. Los Lobos was very much appreciated by the crowd.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band played a powerful set starting off with “Don’t Let Me Slide,” off of its 2011 album, “Revelator,” and “Do I Look Worried” off of “Made Up Mind.” The crowd was theirs immediately. Between Tedeschi’s sensational voice and Trucks’ world class guitar playing it was breathtaking.
The band is just amazing. Derek is one of the best slide guitarists in the world having started as a child at 9 years old. It certainly didn’t hurt having lineage with the Allman Brother Band (drummer Butch Trucks was his uncle). The embrace of the musical world started early for him.
Susan’s musical experiences also go back to her childhood. She started playing in bands at 13 years old, and she attended the Berklee College of Music. Her voice can be soft and gentle or knock-you-to-your-knees powerful. Always smiling, she obviously enjoys performing.
In addition to the previously mentioned Gabe Dixon on keyboards and vocals, the band has three backup singers, a horn section, two drummers and a bass player. This is a big band that needs a big stage. Plus, it grew to a 16-piece band when the core of Los Lobos joined them for several songs during their set.
One of the tracks that blew the walls out was “Let Me Get By”from the 2016 album of the same name. It starts with a drum rhythm interspersed with organ and choppy guitar exchanges, then it builds with vocals and harmonies. The intro riff comes back in often, and it moves into solos that get you on your feet and moving. The breaks are frequent and tight. It moves around between a swing feel to jazz riffs on the organ and horns, gets manic and then meanders through various musical feelings, and drops back into Tedeschi beautiful singing. The chorus line – “Let me get by” — becomes a chant and lifts you up until it all disappears into an airy sweet guitar solo. Of course, that builds back up into a thunderous finale.
This rollercoaster ride of peaks and valleys came at you all night long from both bands. Just when you thought they couldn’t do it again, they did. The stage setting was beautiful too. The lighting was very moody and dramatic. For the most part it was not brightly lit, except for dynamic blasts of light accenting the music. This was quite apparent through my lens as I had to pump up my camera setting to be able to see anything. You really had to be there.
After reflecting on the dynamics of this show and hearing some of the music (especially the live music) on my favorite streaming app while working on this story, I’m more convinced than ever that streaming limits the listening experience much more than does digital or vinyl. Live, of course, is the best way to experience music. I’ve always believed that streaming, though convenient, limits and compresses the audio, rendering it less dynamic. Of course, I’m just a drummer with a camera and a computer so, I’m all (damaged) ears. I’m interested in your thoughts.
-Email author Nick McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tedeschi Trucks Band set list
Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022
Grand Sierra Resort, Reno
Don’t Let Me Slide / Do I Look Worried / Until You Remember / Fall In / I Am The Moon / Let Me Get By / Playing With My Emotions / The World Is A Ghetto / Key To The Highway / Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right / Part Of Me / Yes We Will / I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free / Let’s Go Get Stoned
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Susan Tedeschi – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar
Derek Trucks– slide guitar/lead guitar
Tyler Greenwell – drums, percussion
Mike Mattson– harmony vocals, acoustic guitar
Mark Rivers – harmony vocals
Kebbi Williams – saxophone
Ephraim Owens– trumpet
Elizabeth Lea – trombone
Alecia Chakour – harmony vocals
Brandon Boone – bass guitar
Gabe Dixon– keyboards, vocals
Isaac Eady – drums, percussion