Live from Atlanta
Reviewed by: Brian Roser
Lucero is rock and roll with a hint of country. They have a great, no nonsense, working class sound. Think Bruce Springsteen, but from Memphis, Tennessee instead of New Jersey. Just like it says on the tin, this is a live show that was recorded over the course of three nights in Atlanta’s Terminal West.
There are pluses and minuses to doing a live album. There is a lot of energy in a live show. You can hear the crowd cheer at the opening riff and sing along to all the music, not to mention the chanting of Lu-cer-o at the end of a set. There are some things that happen at a live show that you might be able to fix in post, like playing a sour note or saying something really boneheaded between songs. One problem that does crop is that the lead singer pauses for effect, but the crowd keeps right on going, so he’s forced to get back up to speed. Also, if your whole point is to bring fans all of their old favorites, that means there are no new songs to throw in the mix.
Their career spans 16 years and nine albums, so there is plenty of material for them to choose from. The album consists of four discs and 32 songs. There are albums out there that aren’t even 32 minutes. This one, on the other hand, clocks in at over two hours. This is the musical equivalent of War and Peace… only it’s not about Russia and it most definitely will not put you to sleep.
With so many years under their belts, the band is starting to get a little long in the tooth. This is not a bad thing. Songs about the experience of life with a twinge of nostalgia are not written by nineteen-year-olds. The band is easy with their instruments from guitar to piano to the accordion with a great horn and sax player to boot. Frontman Ben Nichols has a gravel-rough voice that has been colored, but not slowed down by time. As a middle aged singer, he is not spending his nights at the club getting high on Molly. Although, to be fair he has more than a nodding acquaintance with whiskey, toasting the crowd with a shot during one of the songs.
This is a great show and a great band. They obviously love their fans, often indulging them with requests shouted out from the audience. If you’re a fan of Lucero, this is a good album to have.