Lucero: Bowery Ballroom Night Three: 5 November 2014

“I ain’t talking as much as last night. Just shut up and play the songs.”

And that’s just what Lucero did for the third and last night at the Bowery Ballroom of their By the Seat of Our Pants Tour.

That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a lot of fun had by all. Brian Venable (guitar) and Ben Nichols (vocals/guitar) kept teasing each other on stage. Brian had Ben laughing during songs. And they kept playing with each other’s pedals – Scott Thompson (trumpet) got involved at one point. People were buying shots for Ben so by the second half of the second set he was forgetting lyrics. He had to call out for the second line of “She Wakes When She Dreams” and he couldn’t remember the title of “Fistful of Tears.” One woman threw her bra onstage and it bounced off Ben and onto the floor. He later picked up and handled it for a bit before depositing the bra on Brian’s amp.

This show was sold-out so the club was very crowded and loud. Definitely a less rowdy crowd than the first night but just as dedicated. They sang along with every song, as always.

Once again Ben’s lyrics and voice just slayed me. How does he see inside my soul and know exactly how I feel? Sometimes it seems he’s playing for himself as much as for us. He said he got one request for “Here at the Starlite” and he was going to play it for himself. I love being up close enough to watch his face play out the lyrics – especially during “Nights Like These,” when he always seems to be trying to wash the taste out of his mouth as he sings the line “beer tastes like blood.” Night after night it’s as if he’s feeling it all over again.

Brian played brilliantly as did Roy Berry (drums), John C Stubblefield (bass), and Rick Steff (keyboards/accordion) on both the acoustic and electric sets. It’s so cool hearing and watching John C play the upright bass and Roy play on half a kit. Rick kills on the keyboards and Brian was gentle during the acoustic set and shredded for the electric set. For the electric set Scott and Art Edmaiston (saxophone) joined the band and the horn section, as always, adds so much depth to the band.

John C jumped into the audience again for “Tears Don’t Matter Much.” I’d have a photo of it but I was having too much fun watching him play.

During the break I ran into Ben at the bar and I gathered up my courage and told him how much I’d enjoyed all three nights and asked him to play “Hey Darlin’ Do You Gamble?” He said he would and he kept his promise.

Ben and then John C left NYC with some lovely words –

“Let’s hear it again for the Bowery Ballroom. I’d rather play three nights here than one night anywhere else.”

“NYC, Lucero loves you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Acoustic set list

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

Electric set list

Downtown/On My Way Downtown
Kiss the Bottle
Hey Darlin’ Do You Gamble?
Women & Work
Texas & Tennessee
Union Pacific Line
Nights Like These
Sounds of the City
Chain Link Fence
I Can’t Stand to Leave You
Tonight Ain’t Gonna Be Good
Little Silver Heart
Sixes & Sevens
Goodbye Again
All Sewn Up

Ben and Rick

She Wakes When She Dreams
The War


Tears Don’t Matter Much

Ben and Rick

Fistful of Tears


Ben and Rick

Last Pale Light in the West


Here at the Starlite





By Carene Lydia Lopez