The Paramount, Huntington NY
Feb. 26th, 2019
by Brian Berson
As openers for Flogging Molly, Lucero was an unlikely choice, but they won the crowd over by the middle of the first song, the title track to their new record “Among the Ghosts.” With a modest stage set comprised of their equipment and a backdrop featuring the cover art to the new record, an abandoned church in the Mississippi River. The heavily tattooed quintet from Memphis played a set stacked with songs from the new album including “To My Dearest Wife”, “For the Lovely Ones”, “Everything Has Changed” and several others.
Lead singer/guitarist Ben Nichols’ songwriting has improved on each record and the raspy voiced, whiskey loving troubadour writes about love, drinking, life in the south and family. Bassist John Stubblefield and drummer Roy Berry kept Lucero chugging along with the groove and rhythm. Fans of Lucero might’ve noticed lead guitarist Brian Venable missing his trademark beard, making him nearly unrecognizable if it weren’t for his tattoos and distinct guitar sound, while Rick Steff kept a more traditional, heavily-bearded appearance as he supports the band playing keyboards.
Besides showcasing their new material, Lucero also gave the crowd a taste of familiar tunes like “On My Way Downtown”, “Texas and Tennessee”, which is a “love letter to Nichols’ hometown”, and “The War”, a staple at Lucero shows, which speaks from Nichols’ grandfather’s point of view as a soldier bearing the burden of World War 2. Lucero’s set, albeit brief, spanned songs throughout their catalog and impressed the masses.