\ Hip Displeasure: Elvis Fu » Music » Lucero in Baltimore. 14 Nov 2006

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Elvis Fu » Music » Lucero in Baltimore. 14 Nov 2006

The Ottobar
Opening Bands: Drag the River Trio & Rocky Votolato

Drag the River Trio turned out to be a duo, and a glance at their webisite doesn't even mention Trio. Not bad, but not terrific brand whiskey-soaked reject country-rock. They have the potential to grow into a pretty decent act, but I wasn't feeling it just yet. They had a surprisingly large crowd that was familiar with their music. Not bad for a band in from Fort Collins, Colorado. They were considerably better when the Lucero rhythm section joined them for the last couple songs. The two guitars & two vocalists set-up wasn't bad, just a bit flat. After hearing some Drag the River samples I found at Punk News , I like them a good bit more. The pedal steel helps a lot.

Rocky Votolato is from Seattle. Mr. Votolato's music is also not my cup of tea. Sensitive guy with a Telecaster and a harmonica he hasn't quite mastered yet? No thanks. All the gals with big black eXes on their hands sang along, though. I was especially displeased when he covered "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" & "Plastic Jesus". There are some tracks you can listen to over at Mr. Votolato's label, Barsuk.

The Main Event
Lucero came on around 11:30 and played for damn near two hours, loud. Good mix of new stuff & old stuff, plus some stuff I don't think I've heard before. The band seemed surprisingly sober, outside of bassist John C. Stubblefield, who was beyond inebriated. He played well though despite being up a bit too loud.

One thing that really came through is how much drummer Roy Berry really rounds out their sound. The new album showed this more than previous efforts, but live it really came though. I'm no expert nor musician, but damn I really like his playing.

I was also expecting them to be more reckless or sloppy—not in a bad way, mind you—but that wasn't the case at all. They played a lot of requests, and on a few they admitted they hadn't played them in some time, but overall they were damn solid. Some added live goodness on a Venable solo or some extra growls or whoops from Nichols keep the songs from treading anywhere near a stale replica of the recorded versions. Definite high points were two new songs, "Sing Me No Hymns" and "The Mountain". It was a nice suprise to hear "Chain Link Fence" as well.

Favorite Non-Musical Part
During a brief break between songs, Stubblefield stumbled over to the mic to say, "I just want to take the opportunity to say that I'm glad we're back in The South."

Nichols gave him a looked, and with a sly grin replied, "Well, barely."

Stubblefield yelled something (he didn't have his own mic).

Nichols replied, "Hell, I know where the Mason-Dixon Line is, and from what I can tell they put it too far North."

That cracked me up, and rankled some of the Maryland crowd. Speaking of the crowd, I haven't hung in Baltimore in a while (I live about 45 mins from
The Ottobar), and god it's turning into John Waters' wildest dreams. So trashy. I'm not hip by any means, but I was surprised at the sheer number of horrible neck tattoos ("It's an eye to watch my back, yo") and young girls with full ink sleeves. No wonder the unemployment rate is 30% in some parts of the City. Jesus.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

lucero is the shit! so are the girls with the full inked sleeves!

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

berry. not barry.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Elvis Fu said...

*tips cap*. Berry, indeed.

6:25 PM  

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