WATCH: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Perform Rare Gem at the Ryman

by Blake Ells
(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

The beauty of Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s annual residency at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville is in watching the band dust off classics that haven’t been played in a while. The seventh show of the eight show run was on Saturday, October 22, and the band offered up just that. Check out a clip of “Molotov” below.

It’s been a while since Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit have performed the cut from The Nashville Sound. They broke out another rarity from the album during Wednesday’s show. That was “Chaos and Clothes.” Through the first seven shows of the run, the band played nine of the album’s ten tracks. Only the album closer, “Something to Love,” is left to perform on Sunday night to complete the 2017 track list.

The deepest cut that the band shared during the first seven nights of the run was “TVA.” It’s a B-Side from Jason Isbell’s days with Drive-By Truckers. The band broke that one out for both midweek shows. It’s a track that Isbell has performed during solo sets in recent years, but it hasn’t happened often during full band performances.

Saturday’s set was particularly interesting. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit stormed out of the gates with “Stockholm,” a track from their breakthrough album Southeastern. While “Stockholm” isn’t particularly rare, it’s been a long time since it opened a show. It was a much heavier show than many. Saturday’s set also included “Cumberland Gap,” “Anxiety,” “Flying Over Water” and Sadler Vaden’s version of the Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’ classic “Honeysuckle Blue.”

“Danko/Manuel,” which was also on the set on Tuesday and Wednesday, made a return on Saturday. It’s another of his Drive-By Truckers classics. “Decoration Day” and “Never Gonna Change” also made it in sets throughout the week.

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit Close Ryman Residency on Sunday

When Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit conclude their set on Sunday, they will have performed 40 shows at the Ryman since their first in 2013. That was a single show in August. The following year, the number of dates began to expand – first to three, then four, six, eight. Over the past decade, the run has become a Nashville rite of passage.

The current version of this band is absolutely on fire. They have never sounded better. It’s loud. It’s tight. And it’s confident. The band went into the studio earlier this fall. It’ll be interesting to see what came from those sessions.

They’ll take a little bit of time off after the Ryman run before heading to the United Kingdom in November. They’ve already announced a string of United States dates for 2023, too. Those kick off on January 19 in Orlando, Fla. Check out everything on the calendar for Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and get ticket information for all dates at their website.

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