Photo by Lexanne Crawford

“I heard that when we wake up tomorrow, it will be Friday.”  This was not only an accurate statement by Lucero bassist, John C. Stubblefield, but it was kind of the summation of the sentiment in the room at the Handlebar last Thursday night.  There was this feeling that something awesome was happening and we should all enjoy the party and go with it.  Speaking with people around the room, the crowd was from all across the South.  People drove 3+ hours just to be there.  It’s safe to say that Lucero has some die hard fans.

The band opened the show with the driving “Sound of the City” which sounds much less gritty these days than its album version, but somehow still packs the same punch.  It should go without saying, but I love a horn section.  Even though the horn section only consists of two fellows, they brought marching-band-sized joy to my heart and filled the venue with bright, sunny sounds.  Everyone was head-bobbin’ and toe-tappin’.

Having seen my share of shows at this point, there’s a difference between good music and good musicians.  If I drew a venn diagram of this it would look something like:

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 3.49.42 PM

These guys seriously are pros.  There’s no two ways about it.  Not only is the music good, but they are good at playing it.  These guys are road tested and Mandy approved for sure.  The true test was that I hardly saw much cellphone usage during the show.  Lucero had the audience fully engaged.

Some of the better moments came from the more intimate part of the show where Ben Nichols shared the stage with only Rick Steff for songs like “Slow Dancing”.  Steff pulled out the accordion for “When I was Young” off the Women & Work album and the crowd went wild…as wild as a crowd can go for accordion that is.  We were also treated to a rare “Wasted” which was one of the several fan requests taken by the band.  The small, but special request-taking portion of the show made it feel collaborative and unique to that moment.  Definitely memorable.

Tomorrow, I’ll go to bed and wake up to another Friday.  Another weekend brings new shows to check out, but for now, this Lucero one is going to be hard to top.

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