Lucero (Clutch/The Sword): Capitol Theatre 17 May 2017

My second night with my boys. As far the music went, it was basically the same as Monday night. I was sitting in the balcony, so felt a little removed from the action. The Capitol Theatre is an historic rock venue and really just an historic venue. It’s a beautiful old theater.

Just five minutes before the start and there weren’t many people in the balcony or on the floor. I knew The Sword would be on at exactly 8pm. More people came in as the band started but the balcony never filled up all night. It’s not really the type of music people sit in the balcony for. I’m not sure if they played the same set or not. They sounded a little less Southern when I was further away. I don’t know what was up with that. The band is John D. “JD” Cronise (lead singer/guitar), Kyle Shutt (lead guitar), Bryan Richie (bass/synthesizer), and Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III (drums). One thing I noticed is the Capitol definitely had a better light show on stage (and on the walls of the theater).


Lucero came out to Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee” and went into “Can’t You Hear Them Howl.” I just loved “On My Way Downtown” that night and “Nights Like These” gave me chills. After one song Roy Berry (drums) threw his drumstick across the stage in order to get the roadie’s attention. I don’t know what he needed but the action just cracked me up. I love the way Ben Nichols (singer/guitar) takes advantage of the entire stage. He’ll walk from Roy over to John C. Stubblefield (bass) or Rick Steff (keyboards/accordion) and then back over to Brian Venable (guitar) and Roy. Or maybe upstage to his amp. The couple in front of me was definitely there to see Lucero. I could see a few people in the balcony getting into them even though they were there for Clutch. Before doing an a cappella “The Last Pale Light in the West,” Ben told the same story about singing lullabies to his daughter. And during “The Last Song,” Ben knocked himself in the head – something I haven’t seen him do in a while. He did it more often when he’d be drunker on stage. It was another great set.

Set list

Can’t You Hear Them Howl
Chain Link Fence
Slow Dancing
Downtown/On My Way Downtown
Nights Like These
Women & Work
Here at the Starlite
I Can Get Us Out of Here
The War (Ben solo with Rick on accordion)
The Last Pale Light in the West (a cappella)
The Last Song








Even though I was in the balcony, I was actually closer to Clutch than I had been in that huge warehouse on Monday. They are loud. Very loud. They entered to the same song as the other night, which I finally found – it’s “We Need Some Money” by Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers. Clutch covered it as a bonus track on one of their albums and, apparently, they always enter to this song. Neil Fallon (vocals/guitar) has a powerful voice. I noticed that the band – Dan Maines (bass), Tim Sult (lead guitar), and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums) – just look like a bunch of guys who came off the street. There is nothing rock star about them. And their fans are rabid. I could appreciate them more this time around and liked them even better. During the break, we heard a lot of Judas Priest (along with Metallica and some others) over the sound system and Clutch reminds me a bit of Priest. I was not hearing the rap/hardcore that I’d heard the night before. It’s strange – other than Lucero, the bands sounded very different to me this second night. Just as I was leaving, Fallon strapped on a guitar. Before that he mentioned the Capitol is one of the most beautiful venues they’ve performed in and not to take it for granted. (I had to leave early this time because I had a very early flight in the morning and it was going to take at least two hours to get home.)



On the way out, I saw Roy talking to someone next to the merch table. I would have talked to him but it was so loud back there I never would have been able to hear him. And Ben was in the bar Garcia’s talking with some bikers. No reason to interrupt because I didn’t have anything to say to him other than, “Great show.”

By Carene Lydia Lopez