Drag the River

Drag the River: LiveLive (2006)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 5

Contributed by: southpawnationsouthpawnation
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Report from my 4-day "tour" with Drag the River: * - Note to ALL / Armchair Martian fans: Drag the River is an alt-country / insurgent country / whatever they're calling that genre now, so if you're thinking about checking them out live or on CD, you'll be disappointed if you're expecting somethi.

Report from my 4-day "tour" with Drag the River:

* - Note to ALL / Armchair Martian fans: Drag the River is an alt-country / insurgent country / whatever they're calling that genre now, so if you're thinking about checking them out live or on CD, you'll be disappointed if you're expecting something like ALL or Armchair Martian (or the Nobodys, Hot Rod Circuit, or Pinhead Circus for that matter). Think more along the lines of Uncle Tupelo, Old 97s, Lucero, and old country (Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, George Jones) songs about drinking. Live @ the Starlight is an excellent first pick-up if you want to hear what they're all about.

Day 1 of our planned 4-day DTR gorging was in San Jose at the Blank Club. That joint was the darkest bar I've ever been in. Seriously, I could barely see walking around there. Like some vampire club with red lights.

Opener 1: The Mojo Apostles (Oakland, CA). Doesn't mention him as an influence on their bio page, but the Apostles seemed like disciples of Mojo Nixon to me with maybe a little goofier Supersuckers and some Southern Culture on the Skids thrown in. I guess their highlight was the song about losing another good man to Christianity and his wife says they're sinners, and for once that bitch is right. They were also the biggest draw of the night, as it was supposed to be their CD release party and they were shooting a video.

Next up, also from the East Bay, was Dynamite 8. Um, the less I say about this band the better probably. I will say that the description "Some of the band's influences are Descendents/ALL, Wretch Like Me, Pretty Girls Make Graves, the Bronx, Hot Water Music, and Jawbreaker. JoAnn's powerful voice rarely gets reference to other female vocalists, but some of her trademark inflections coincidentally bear resemblance to James Hetfield of Metallica and Glenn Danzig of the Misfits" from their online bio is total BS. I could have done without having to sit through them.

And, finally, around midnight, Drag the River! I've seen them 3 or 4 times and I think this might have been my favorite show yet (until 2 days later). They played for a long time; I don't think we got out of there until around 1:30 A.M. They played just about every (newer) song we wanted to hear. I couldn't even think of any I wanted to request (I thought of "Caleb's Grave" and "Away With Women" later, which I didn't end up requesting at any of the shows).

My wife wanted to hear them do "Hybrid Moments," and they didn't, but that was about it. She did get her favorite, "So Long Hoss" though. And I got to hear some of the newer ones I wanted to: "Lost Angel Saloon" and "Amazing Grace & Chuck Fasano," plus one of my all-time favorite DTR songs, "Me and Joe."

They also played "Portland" and from a comment Chad made, I think they probably played most, if not all, of the new record too, and a really cool version of "Beautiful and Damned." Some older songs included "Medicine," "Mars Motors," "Embrace the Sound," "Columbus Stockade," "Tomorrow Morning," "Deminer," "Kelly Country," and probably bunch more I can't remember right now.

Great show!

So last night marked our 4th straight night in a row of Drag the River.

That was a blast every night. I don't know how often I'd drive all over NorCal to see the same band 4 nights in a row, but I'm sure glad we did. Each show was a unique experience and a great time. I was so beat last night though. I don't know how bands do it, driving all over hell and playing every night. And I wasn't even drinking and partying all night after every show.

I'd say the Santa Cruz show was our favorite overall. We showed up just in time for I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House. We had shown up for the last half of their set at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco and we liked them OK that night, but we really enjoyed them at The Attic in Santa Cruz. They're a gruffer, more "cowpunk" kind of band than DTR, but pretty rockin'.

The San Jose show/set was probably our favorite DTR set, but we had the most fun overall in Santa Cruz. The Attic was a really nice venue (kind of a granola joint, but nice).

Bottom of the Hill probably had the most people, and that SF show was fun too. I'm going to skip over Jackass. They didn't do much for me but ruin a Hank Williams and a CCR song. The crowd really fed those guys the alcohol that night. I don't know how those guys do all those Jagerbombs and shots and still manage to sound so good. Of course, by the time they were really trashed it started to show, but it was still awesome. People didn't want to let Chad off the stage, but he had to laugh and say he was too drunk to keep playing. He did give us all a bonus solo acoustic performance of "Modern Drunkard," which was appropriate and awesome.

I think I had some nostalgic recollections going about Old Ironsides in Sacramento. It is a fine dive bar, but seeing a band there is claustrophobic to say the least (low ceilings freak me out I guess...). And the band didn't even all fit on the stage.

With Sacramento local stalwarts Groovie Ghoulies (AKA the Haints) looking on, that night seemed a lot mellower set overall and they might have seemed a little on the tired side (I know we kinda were from all the driving, and we weren't even drinking and playing every night!). We did get some requests in that night ("Lost Angel Saloon" and "Down This Road"). The new guys (Spacey Casey in particular) did a pretty rad job of playing that song they'd never played on the fly.

Since we saw all those shows, we didn't have too many requests 'cuz we heard pretty much every song we wanted to hear. I guess they're not playing "Hybrid Moments" anymore, though. Some people asked for that and got denied.

All in all, awesome 4 days of shows...definitely check them out if they play in your area!


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
housewrecker (March 15, 2006)

Drag the River is amazing. I don't honestly know how anyone can say that ALL is anything short of awesome live. Maybe they don't jump around as much...but they are completely solid and tight as hell and they let the music do the talking. I've seen ALL many times over the last 13 years and they STILL blow me away every time. (And yes, I've seen Descendents too)

Anonymous (March 14, 2006)

didnt they cover "all in all"? its too incestous to keep track of.


Anonymous (March 11, 2006)

ALL is the worst live band you've ever seen? Ummm did you ever see Blink 182? They take the worst-live-band cake award

notfeelingcreative (March 10, 2006)

"ALL are the worst live band I've ever seen. I hope Chad is better in Drag The River."

I assume you've seen the Descendents live, the only people I know who think that ALL sucks live are people who have seen the descendents, Milo is so much more energetic than Chad, but ALL are still alright live, in my opinion!

nostinkinbadges (March 10, 2006)

decent review of a fucking amazing band.

i just saw them play about four weeks ago in flagstaff at the montevista. one of the best shows i've seen in a really long time. the dudes played a 2 hour set, and it was simply unbelievable. got really drunk too, so it was a good night overall.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Just to sort of correct the guy that said they cover ALL and AM songs. A lot of those ALL songs were DTR songs before ALL recorded them. So you're half right.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

To the guy that said ALL is bad live: Are you crazy? I've seen ALL a million times going back to the Dave Smalley era and they have always put on a RAD show. I like Chad a lot. My favorite singer was Scott, but they seem so tight now with Chad. I still can't imagine someone thinking they are bad live.

insertcoolnamehere (March 10, 2006)

Man i love this band, their stuff is just too hard to find though. It's country music with balls and heart. Armchair Martian was great too when they became more country influenced.....who want's to play bass was a phenomenal album.

xrobotcorex (March 10, 2006)

I found an ALL cover they did of "Breakin' Up" that was pretty awesome.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

>>They cover armchair and ALL songs.

They do cover a couple Armchair Martian songs ("Jig," "Embrace the Sound.") The only "ALL" song I've heard them do ("Until I Say So") is actually a song Chad wrote for DTR that ALL covered (but it came out on Mass Nerder before it showed up on a DTR CD--Chicken Demos).

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

ALL are the worst live band I've ever seen. I hope Chad is better in Drag The River.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Great band. I've been wanting to see them live forever now, but it never seems to work out. Hopefully I'll get to see them sometime this summer when they come back to Columbus.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

armchair martian's sound isn't too far from drag the river, at least if your into armchair it isn't too much of a stretch that you would like DTR. Jon just plugged in for armchair.

They cover armchair and ALL songs.

hoping to pick up the last ep they did, the 7 inch tracks on the myspace page sound great.


Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

This stuff is good. Not usually what I listen to. I got into them because of Chad Price being in ALL. I love his voice.

Still weird for me to think that the guy singing country songs about drinking is the same guy who sang 'She broke my dick' fast as fuck in a punk band.

Dante3000 (March 10, 2006)

MIssed the San Jose show because it was the same night as Tera Melos. Kinda bummed I missed DTR but I really dislike the Blank Club (except for its distance from my place at the time). That place is dark as shit and ussually attracts the "I'm so anti" crowd.
Still would of been a good show.

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