Lucero: Webster Hall 8 October 2015

Sorry that the next few reviews are so late in coming. It was one show after another while I was fighting off what I thought was allergies but grew to realize was actually bronchitis. But now I’m medicated and ready to write things up.

Lucero opening for Lucero at Webster Hall. You can’t have too much of the boys in one evening but you can see them in a better place. Webster Hall is a small ballroom. The sound was good – better than I’ve heard it there before – but the ballroom becomes a dance club so the rock acts need to be off stage by 10:30pm. That doesn’t leave room for a lot of fun.

Plenty of drinks were passed up to Ben Nichols (vocals/acoustic and electric guitars) but he didn’t get as talky as he usually gets because they had to power through. It also meant that there wasn’t room for a lot of requests. With Lucero the drunk monologues and playing repeated requests are the rule rather than the exception and I missed them. There was one funny moment when Ben joked about bringing the room down by playing “The War” right after “Tears Don’t Matter Much.”

But – Lucero opening for Lucero. That means an evening of great music. Rick Steff kills on the keyboards and accordion. I am so glad he’s part of the original group. Jim Spake (saxophone) and Randy Ballard (trumpet) are missed during the acoustic portion of the show. As much as I love the acoustic portion, when the horns come in for the electric half the energy in the room increases tenfold. Roy Berry is a master at the drums. He makes a half a kit sound as powerful as a whole kit while seemingly barely touching the drums. Brian Venable’s guitar playing is unparalleled. And I love hearing John C. Stubblefield’s switch between the upright bass and the electric bass. During the acoustic set he played the electric for all the new songs but went to the upright for the older songs. It’s so nice to hear them in a brand new way.

Lucero played most of the latest album and, since that’s been in heavy rotation on my iPod, it was great to hear the new songs live. There was one wonderful unscripted moment when the crowd upfront howled in the right places for “Can’t You Hear Them Howl.” I was howling too but I was too far back to be heard.

Celebrity in the crowd was Oliver Peck.

How I wish every Lucero concert is Lucero opening for Lucero.

Set List

Went Looking for Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles
Wandering Star
When You Decided to Leave
Baby Don’t You Want Me
In Lonesome Times
Better Than This
Last Night in Town
Ain’t So Lonely
The Man I Was
Hello Sadness
That Much Further West
They Called Her Killer
Texas & Tennessee
Hate and Jealousy

Downtown (Intro)
On My Way Downtown
Nights Like These
Chain Link Fence
Sweet Little Thing
I Woke Up in New Orleans
Noon as Dark as Midnight
Slow Dancing
Can’t You Hear Them Howl
Raising Hell
Throwback #2
Tears Don’t Matter Much
The War (Ben solo with Rick)
All Sewn Up
My Girl and Me in ‘93




By Carene Lydia Lopez