Lucero: Bowery Ballroom Night Two: 4 November 2014

“Yesterday I was nervous and sober. Tonight I’m relaxed and drunk. I don’t think either works.”

Night two of Lucero’s three-night stint at the Bowery Ballroom for their By the Seat of Our Pants Tour was a throwback to the old days when Ben Nichols (vocals/guitar) would get so drunk that there would be lots of “awkward of me talking parts” and songs started and re-started because Ben wasn’t ready or chords left unstrummed or verses left unsung because he’d forgotten the words. The crowd ate it up.

At one point John C Stubblefield (bass) asked for batteries and everything had to come to stop. Ben was making fun of John C’s pronunciation (bat-trees) and wasn’t paying attention – “We’ll have to start this over again because John C finished with his bat-trees too quick and I was squatting and honking loogies and drinking whiskey when Roy [Berry (drums)] started the song.”

Even before the drunken electric set, Ben had us laughing when during the acoustic set (almost the same as the night before) Ben said that Brian Venable (guitar) told him that he would lose the set list and he did. And Brian told Ben to take a photo of it and he did and now he was using the photo.

Probably the funniest line of the night was when Ben told us, “If you have tickets for tomorrow night, I’d probably sell them.” He tried to promise that he wouldn’t be as drunk the next night but then realized it was a promise he couldn’t keep.

At the end Ben hugged Brian in a kind of apology for the way the night had gone. And Brian indicated to Ben that he was watching him during the last song.

Before the show a woman came by to check out how I’d gotten a table (thanks again Kenny!) and she recognized my name from my review of the first night and she and her brother (a first timer) hung out for a bit. It’s nice that the Lucero can bring people together so easily.

Once again the band blew me away with their musicianship. Rick Steff (keyboards/accordion) is always brilliant, as is the horn section – Scott Thompson (trumpet) and Art Edmaiston (saxophone). Brian made the electric guitar work perfectly during the acoustic section and Roy always look like he barely touching the drums, yet he gets so much power out of them. John C was wonderful on both upright and electric bass. I love watching him play.

There was no encore because Ben wanted to fit in as many requests as possible so he didn’t want to take the break.

Acoustic set list

Into Your Eyes
That Much Further West
Wandering Star
When You Decided to Leave
Across the River
Hello Sadness
Better Than This
Last Night in Town
In Lonesome Times
The Last Song
Other Side of Lonesome
Ain’t So Lonely
Hate and Jealousy

Ben and Rick

Last Pale Light in the West

Electric set list

What Else Would You Have Me Be
Nights Like These
Downtown/On My Way Downtown
I’ll Just Fall
Women & Work
Raising Hell
Texas & Tennessee
San Francisco
Here at the Starlite

Ben and Rick

The War


All Sewn Up
Sixes & Sevens
Just That Kind of Girl
Tears Don’t Matter Much

Ben and Rick

Fistful of Tears


Sweet Little Thing










By Carene Lydia Lopez