Live Photos: Lucero at the Middle East

Photographic Evidence
by Emma Dessau

The Middle East in Cambridge, MA - 10/18/09

Ben Nichols at the Middle East.
photos by Emma Dessau

I first heard of Lucero after reading Craig Finn, frontman for The Hold Steady, rave about their live shows: I take what Craig Finn says very seriously, so I was excited to check them out. After one song and the soakage of my shirt in about three cups of beer, which had been catapulted into the air by a group of especially excited fans, I understood Finn's love.

Lucero has resurrected a kind of Southern rock not found since the days when Creedence Clearwater Revival ruled the airwaves. Their sound, though primarily rooted in a classic country-alt sound, also touches on punk and indie, which sets them apart from the scores of Southern rockers littering bars across America.“I think the fact that we don't claim a genre is very important to what Lucero is,” says Nichols. “There are too many rules in punk rock. Too many rules in country music. We’re hard headed and…god damn if we don’t do things the way we want to do them.”

Lucero - "Sound of the City"
from 1372 Overton Park

Like their friends The Hold Steady, Lucero has capitalized on the void left by Bruce Springsteen after his career changed it's path (and he started making songs like "Radio Nowhere.") Lucero have brought back the winning combination of poignant lyrics with a hard rocking sound. While foot stomping to the massive guitar riffs and solos, Ben Nichols's lyrics suddenly penetrate the madness of a live show. The band clearly has a great time on stage. Nichols bantered with the beer tossing hooligans, took song requests, and basked in the energy of the crowd.

Lucero's latest album, 1372 Overton Park, was just released this month on Universal Republic Records. This sixth release is their first record on a major label. Judging from what I heard on this Sunday, it should be epic.

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Lucero at the Middle East(10-18-09)

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Crissy Herron said…
I love Lucero! Definitely one of my favorite bands - and probably the best band I've ever seen live. I've seen them 3 times in the past six months - whenever they're in Detroit, I will be there! (and perhaps Chicago & Cleveland, as well)... Nichols is an excellent song writer and the band has great chemistry with the crowd.

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