Lucero. Bluebird Theater. 04.20.13

luceroMonday mornings always suck. They suck even worse after Lucero’s been to town. As the boys from Tennessee are getting some ink and R&R in Wichita, the rest of us have to pick our heavy heads up off the smoke-and-whiskey stained pillows, stumble into the shower, scrub off the filth of another wasted weekend, and get our worthless selves to work. Lucero busted their asses for us over the weekend, now it’s our turn. So follow the trail of cigarette butts, broken bottles, empty glasses and disappointed women all the way to your car (if you remember where you left it) and get on with your week…you sad sack of shit. Because face it, no matter how many shots you throw back with the band, you are not Ben Nichols. So you’ll just have to suck it up until the weekend comes around again. In the immortal words of Denis Leary, “life sucks, get a fucking helmet”.

But it’s really not that bad, is it? If you’re reading this, you probably live in the greater Denver area — and what a weekend it was in the greater Denver area! Record Store Day, the first “legal” 420 celebrations, three nights of Lucero (including an acoustic recording at Illegal Pete’s) and more breweries and distilleries opening every day. The weather was nice (most of the time) and while their was a shooting, no one was seriously injured. Not bad for a few days in the Mile High City. It’s no wonder that a band who tours 300 days a year would want to camp out here for awhile. It’s no wonder that despite countless cites and towns across the country, Lucero has settled on Denver as their second home.

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There was a time, not too long ago, when I would have gone to all three shows, but I was only able to make it to Saturday night this time around. I realize a lot people would be nervous about seeing a band like Lucero on their third night, as they have become quite notorious over the past 15 years — notorious for three hour sets, drinking from the bottle and pulling all-nighters, but those who know them, know that nothing gets in the way of the show. When we spoke with Ben (in his usual spot, chain smoking in front of the Bluebird), he confessed that the city’s hospitality had him feeling a little rough around the edges, but just moments later he was following a fan across the street to Goosetown for more of that local hospitality.  And while Ben (like myself) doesn’t celebrate 420 the same way most of you do, he decided drinking twice as much would be a fitting compromise. That sounded logical to me, so I switched it up from beer to whiskey and let the band take me down those dirt roads where men kiss bottles instead of girls, boys join the army instead of falling in love, and states like Texas and Tennessee blur together into one song.

Writing a review of a Lucero show (experience) in Denver is like reviewing your buddy’s party. If you weren’t there, you probably don’t want to hear about it, and if you were sober enough to remember the whole thing, then you probably didn’t do it right. I’m not sure if the experience is the same in every town, but when Lucero plays the Bluebird, they are playing for keeps. Career-spanning sets with no apologies. There is no barrier or filter between band and fan. The boys hang out at the bar, on the street and in the pisser. They seem to be anywhere but backstage. At one point Ben said he used to apologize for so many slow songs, but “fuck it, I don’t give a shit, at this point we’re all family!”.

And that couldn’t be more true. Lucero might be from the South, but every time they come to Denver it’s a homecoming. And although it’s always sad to see them go, if they didn’t leave we’d all be broke and unemployed. So stop reading this, put some drops in those bleeding eyes and get your ass to work! The playlist below should help ease the pain.

Setlist:
The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo
On My Way Downtown
Nights Like These
I’ll Just Fall
Women & Work
Joining the Army / Little Silver Heart
When I Was Young
Juniper
Slow Dancing
Chain Link Fence
Colorado Girl
Kiss the Bottle
Texas & Tennessee
Other Side of Lonesome
Ain’t So Lonely
Happy Birthday
Breathless Love
Bikeriders
Mom
Shelter
Hold Me Close
The War
Mine Tonight
That Much Further West
Tears Don’t Matter Much

Drink ‘Till We’re Gone
All Sewn Up
Goodbye Again

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setlist

  2 comments for “Lucero. Bluebird Theater. 04.20.13

  1. alex_supertramp
    April 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Lucero — dammit… those guys are the best….

  2. April 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Great review. Wanted to make it out to one of these shows but it just didn’t happen.

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