The second night of our week long concert bender got rolling with the first night of Lucero at Headliners. Accompanied with PBR tall boys and my dad visiting from Fort Wayne, Britt and I enjoyed a smokey and glutinous evening with the Memphis legends (and yes I just went there with the barbecue reference).
The Friday night event was already sold out and I’m not sure how many people actually were there Thursday, but it was definitely a full and rowdy crowd. The rock and roll yet emotive vibe is what I have come to expect from Lucero (we saw them briefly in Cincinnati at The Ohio River Throwdown), with front man Ben Nichols’ gruff voice carrying their overall sound. Seeing them in the flesh, however, made me really appreciate Rick Steff on the keys and accordion. You’d be in the middle of this very raw, tough sounding song and through the electric guitar and gritty singing would come the man with the sick facial hair working it on the organ. To me, that is what separates Lucero.
The night had some new adventures for Brittany and I, which we are always welcome to. This was the first show that we’ve drug a family member to and my dad had a blast (I think he did a little reminiscing, too). We also broke out the brand new Headliners “Frequent Flyer Passes.” I’m fairly certain we’re going to wear those out by the end of the year.
As the show progressed, I wasn’t at all surprised when the band started throwing back shots of whiskey from the crowd, especially given their whiskey glass and cigarette background. With every sip Ben Nichols took, his playing remarkably didn’t change, but it did appear that the crowd got a little more wound up. Beers started flying, people began jumping everywhere with everyone thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. The band, though reluctant to the sprays of beers and how it would effect their instruments, seemed to understand it was part of their persona. Lucero makes you feel like you are drinking a pitcher of cheap yet delicious beer at your favorite grimy dive bar, talking over life’s struggles and successes. And truthfully, there may be nothing better than that.