Photo Set and Review: Lucero (Headliners 1/15/15)

Words by Scott Recker, photos by Nik Vechery

When you break it down, Lucero is the epitome of a blue-collar band, in the most unpretentious way possible — which, to be certain, is the reason why they’ve never released anything that has sucked. They’ve changed, but never attached to trends. They’ve become less sloppy, but never lost their grit. I’m not sure that, right now, there’s a better way to see direct, impactful rock ’n roll — and they’re not really even a rock ’n roll band. Which brings us to what they are — or more accurately: what they currently sound like — in a live setting. The short answer is: 1) They’ve refined the punk rock side of themselves just enough to be slightly more smooth. 2) They can keep the Memphis soul elements alive without the horns. 3) They still have the urgent, scrappy alt-country dynamic in check enough to make people want to pay $5 for a beer just to throw it on someone they’ve never met. This was all on display last Thursday night, as they kicked off a two-night stand at Headliners.