Southern-rock band Drive-By Truckers, in New York to play Terminal 5 on New Year’s Eve, played a more intimate show – as intimate as a show can get in a bowling alley, anyway – the day before at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg. Though tickets to the show were only available to New Year’s Eve ticket holders, and despite the show taking place just a few days after a blizzard buried much of the Northeast, the venue was packed with die-hard fans (and bowling enthusiasts).
Despite the fact that most of the fans in attendance would be seeing the Drive-By Truckers 24 hours later, the band played a generously long set, heavy on songs from their most recent album, The Big To-Do. Singer/guitarist Patterson Hood even brought along his dad, noted studio musician David Hood, to play bass on four songs.
Given the Trucker’s Southern background and sound, a bowling alley seemed like the perfect venue for the band, especially since their fried chicken (created, like the rest of the menu, by the folks behind Blue Ribbon) is among the best in the city. So being able to watch the band for an hour, take a break, and chow down on some delicious chicken and equally-delicious mac and cheese while still being able to see the band, made for one heck of a great music experience.
Given the desolate location, terrible sight lines, and cavernous Thunder Dome-esque space of Terminal 5, it would have been worth it to buy tickets to the New Year’s Eve show just to get tickets to the Brooklyn Bowl show, and skip the Terminal 5 show entirely. Unless you really love the Drive-By Truckers. And given the crowd reaction at Brooklyn Bowl, it didn’t seem like many of the fans planned on skipping a Drive-By Truckers show. Ever.