Live: Lucero/Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
WALTER'S ON WASHINGTON -- 5/7/2009: We didn't make it to the show in time to see much of Black Joe Lewis. First, it was hard for us to get out the door that night. While waiting for the babysitter, our daughter began to get sick (ah, the joys of parenting). After putting her to sleep, we were finally able to get on the road, only to be stuck outside the door waiting in the Will Call line, apparently until the Fire Marshall left or became distracted or whatever. It was quite the show to be seen at. Everyone was there, and Walter's was packed to the brim.
Once inside, we waited our turn to make it to the bar and grabbed our drinks just in time to get up front for Lucero. (What we did see of Black Joe Lewis while we were in line at the bar was amazing.) Aside from the obvious problems in the crowd (please don't hit a guitar player's arm while he is trying to play...that should go without saying), Lucero's set was great. It included many Lucero staples, like "Kiss the Bottle," "I Don't Wanna Be the One," "My Best Girl," and "The War." They also played a few new songs that will be out on their new record this fall, including one that was slated to be on 2002's Tennessee but didn't make the final cut.
The crowd mainly reacted to frontman Ben Nichols (including the girls who were front and center, dying to get his attention in the bikinis -- subtle). While Ben is fun to watch because he's so goofy when he gets drunk, my attention, however, was constantly drawn to the rhythm section of Roy Berry and John Stubblefield. Both have a completely laidback style that suits the sound and temperament of the band. Stubblefield stepped up to the mic to call out some overly rowdy "fans" in a very cool way, too -- much appreciated. Todd Beane (of Glossary and Revival Tour fame) was on lap steel and is always amazing. It was great to hear Ben feed off both Beane and the organ player with some solos. Nichols might be the main attraction, but those boys don't need his help..."they can play these songs by themselves." The set wasn't perfect, but if they don't mess up, it isn't a real Lucero show.
Of course, the set left us all wanting more -- I could've listened to them all night -- so an encore was in order. Despite the heat, the crowd, and some jumping through hoops to get in the door, the show was a lot of fun. And I wouldn't want to overlook the Walter's staff for taking good care of everyone, as always. It was a solid show, and I'm definitely looking forward to Lucero coming back later this year, as well as seeing a whole set from Black Joe Lewis. END