Ben Nichols was trashed by the time he sang Mom in Ft. Collins on Monday night and I was tired! I was in Ft. Collins that day and decided to stick around for the Lucero show even though I was catching them the next night at The Bluebird. I have seen Lucero a couple times in the last year or so and they have always been a great time. What I didn’t realize was that they would play until almost 1am.
I entered the Aggie, after a decent Mongolian BBQ dinner across the street, at 8:30pm. The first band, local Arliss Nancy, did not take the stage until after 9:30pm. I watched most of their set and then wandered around, went outside for a bit and even had a quick conversation and a shot with Ben. A conversation that led me to invite him and the band to my house for a BBQ the next night. A BBQ which did not happen.
The boys did not take the stage until almost 11pm. They proceeded to rip through 30 or so songs from all their albums over the next 2 hours. Ben was being fed shots the whole time and toward the end he tried to pass them off to other members of the band. He ended up shooting them all himself. He was visibly drunk by the end, and I wondered what shape he would be in the next night, but it did not affect his performance. They killed it!
Ft. Collins is a good hour and fifteen minute drive from my house on a good night, but on Monday after the show it took over an hour and a half with highway construction. I got home around 2:30am and crashed.
The next day was rough, and I was thankful they never called about the BBQ. When I got done with work, my buddy and I went down to The Bluebird. The first person I saw when we walked in was Ben. He looked a little haggard, but seemed to be enjoying his time bullshitting with fans in the sold-out crowd.
Shooter Jennings opened the show with his band Hierophant. I won’t explain the new material here, but you can read my review it you would like. The show opened with Stephen King over the loud speakers and proceeded through material from Black Ribbons. The crowd seemed a little confused, but they seemed into it just the same. I thought it was a great opener, but I would not have wanted to see a full set.
Lucero brought it again! Ben spoke about how every time he goes to Ft. Collins he gets dunk as hell and comes to Denver hungover…but once again, this did not affect his performance. It was announced early on that this night marked the 13th anniversary of their first show . The crowd applauded their staying power as well as every punk rock, alt country, rockabilly infused anthem! And once again, their horn section killed it! Just adding to the intensity of their songs. This is one band that was just made to perform in front of a slightly buzzed, if not full-on drunk, crowd!
Ben celebrated the bands cornerstone by pounding a bottle of Jameson onstage. But “it’s a’right, cuz he can’t feel a thing!” Though I’m sure he could feel the crowd when they busted into a cover of Townes Van Zandt‘s Colorado Girl…because just like him, we were feeling no pain!
When they came back for an encore, most of the band thanked the fans for the years of loyalty while Ben reminisced “13 years, I’m tired”. He looked it. But only until tomorrow night when he gets to the next town and starts it all over again!
Setlist for The Bluebird
Sounds of the City
That Much Further West
Can’t Feel A Thing
Nights Like These
The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo
Joining The Army
Last Night In Town
All The Same To Me
What Else Would You Have Me Be
Sixes and Sevens
Kiss The Bottle
I’ll Just Fall
Sweet Little Thing
It Gets Worse At Night
The Last Pale Light To The West
Colorado Girl (Townes Van Zandt cover)
I Can Get Us Out of Here
Darken My Door
Tears Don’t Matter Much
Hold Me Close
All Sewn Up