Show Review: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit/Centro-matic

8/11/07 The Bottleneck, Lawrence
If you know me, you know that this was one show I wasn't going to miss. The Drive-By Truckers are one of my favorite bands and Jason Isbell was arguably the most talented member of the band before he left. He most certainly has the best voice of the three singers and I looked forward to hearing a whole set of him at the microphone. I don't love his album but it's good. The songs are a little more straight-forward pop rather than the storytelling type songs he wrote with the Truckers. Either way he is still a talented songwriter and guitarist so I knew this show would be good.

I might have had a few beers before and during the show so my recollection of the show probably isn't the greatest. Jason played most of his new album and included a few Trucker songs: "Never Gonna Change", "Danko Manuel" and set closer "Outfit". The highlight of his set was a searing cover of Talking Heads "Psycho Killer". As long as Jason Isbell keeps putting out albums and playing shows, i'll be there.

I had seen opener Centro-matic last year at Austin City Limits festival on the main stage so it was a bit odd to see them all crammed on the Bottleneck's stage. I am also a big fan of their latest album, Fort Recovery, and was happy to hear a handful of songs off it. They don't have a lot of stage presence but Will Johnson's voice is so mesmerizing you don't even notice.

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