Seeing Lucero at The Fillmore was like going to see your friend’s band at a backyard house party with top shelf production. Good, old fashioned rock and roll, with minimal pretension and great sound and lighting. During their 25 year career, Lucero has been on tour more than they’ve been home, and it shows.
The band came across as themselves on stage. Ben Nichols (singer and guitarist) celebrated Easter by leading multiple toasts, saying cheers and downing whiskey shots – sometimes from Easter eggs. The shots had no effect on his signature gravely vocals, which sound a bit like Kurt Cobain with a country twang. Guitarist Brian Venable brought lots of energy from the start, playing blistering, melodic solos. Bassists John Stubblefield kept the momentum going. Keyboardist and accordionist Rick Steff filled out the sound whether he was playing a beautiful piano line or driving organ. Drummer Roy Berry was solid and in control.
Ben expressed his gratitude several times for the audience showing up and staying late. You can tell he cared and felt thankful.
Lucero is on tour supporting their new album, Should’ve Learned by Now. Ben emphasized the title, that they should have learned by now, but haven’t yet.
Ben forgot some of the words as he was singing a song about falling, demonstrating for everyone to be yourself, to do your best, and to enjoy the ride. After that, he passed additional shots from the venue and audience on to other members of the band. Maybe he is learning.
Lucero covered a song from Bay Area band Jawbreaker. Ben self-effacingly said, “Should have practiced. They’re back together. We don’t have to fuck that one up anymore.”
The show was full of high notes but had some somber moments, emphasized by Rick’s accordion.
Towards the end, Ben apologized, “Sorry I had too good a time tonight.”
Come back and have too good a time anytime.
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