When someone tells me to list my favorite bands of all time, it’s rough. There are too many of them to be able to spout off my top five favorite bands but when push comes to shove, I have a tie for number one. That tie is between Brand New and Lucero. I have seen Brand New twice this year. Last night was Lucero’s turn.
When I tell people that Lucero is one of my favorite bands of all time, it takes them a second. I like loud, heavy music. The more yelling and screaming, the better. Lucero is anything but heavy. Ben Nichols, lead singer and my future husband (I can dream right?), does anything but scream and yell. Nope, there was no angry music last night. It was more full of love ballads and upbeat country songs about whiskey. It was perfect.
I’m definitely not a huge fan of country. Okay, let’s be honest, I hate country music. Like my dad always says, “They’re good at what they do, I just can’t stand what they do.” So why do I like Lucero when I truly can’t stand most country? It’s because of their lyrics, because of their energy on stage, because of Ben Nichols’ voice, because, although it’s country, it’s got an edge and I can relate to it more than pretty much any other band.
Lucero’s lyrics can break your heart during one song and then give you a complete sense of hope in the next. Majority of the lyrics are about love and heartbreak. They aren’t fluffed up like majority of the mainstream songs are, the lyrics are raw and hit you right in the heart with a one-two punch. They also have some fun songs that just make you want to dance including the single Women & Work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fast or slow song to me, if it’s a Lucero song, I love it and it makes me feel something.
Their lyrics have affected me so much that I had to get them tattooed on my arm. On my left arm near my shoulder, I have a tattoo of a sugar skull with some words around it. This is my tribute to Lucero (and to my brother who happens to be almost as obsessed with Lucero as I am). Hayden, my brother, drew the sugar skull for me and the words around said sugar skull happen to be Lucero lyrics. “Live the life you love. Love the life you live.” My mantra for life, the words I live to, the words in the song Johnny Davis. I always knew I wanted some Lucero lyrics tattooed on my body permanently and it took me forever to pick the one line that would do the band and my life justice. Standing at the show last night, I heard so many other lines that would make for awesome tattoos. Sorry mom and dad, I might have to get another Lucero tattoo.
Lucero’s stage presence is unreal. I’ve seen them play numerous times in the past ten years and every single time, I am completely hypnotized by them. Although their live show would be considered lackluster in comparison to the metal shows I go to, I would much rather spend a full night watching Lucero than any other show. They have more energy than majority of the heavy bands I go see even though they barely move. The facial expressions of keyboardist Rick Steff say it all. He’s either all smiles or concentrating hard on the elaborate keyboard and organ embellishments that are in so many of Lucero’s songs. Maybe that’s why I like watching them. The members joke around on stage a lot but at the same time, they all have a job to do and that is play their music, which they do so well.
Ben Nichols, singer, has a voice that is so distinctive that within the first word of a song, you know who it is. It’s raspy. I’m not talking just a little, cutesy, raspy, I’m talking 3-4 packs a day raspy. That doesn’t sound like it would be very musical but it is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. It really gives the lyrics an extra punch because of the realness of his voice. I remember when I met Ben at Warped Tour about three or four years ago. The second he said hello to me I lost all motor skills and the ability to talk. Although all he said was “Hi” to me, because of his voice, all I could hear were the lyrics to Lucero’s songs that I would stay up all night listening to.
Last night meant everything to me. I got to spend some quality time with my little brother while seeing my favorite band play three hours worth of music. It didn’t matter if they were playing an old or new song (they played a great mix of everything), I loved every single song they played.
Seeing Lucero live is hard for me to explain. There’s so much I want to say but the words don’t fit right. They don’t do this band justice. I wanted to end this post with some of their lyrics.
I couldn’t pick just one line to end with.
Lucero— 3 Hours of Lucero… dream come true
Venue- First Avenue
Sausage Fest Meter- 2 out of 10
Broken Bones- None
Average Age- 35
Crowd Surfers- None
How Many Times I Got Goosebumps- The whole night