Lucero

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Lucia Kaminsky
Memphis

This year's fourth annual Rock For Love fundraiser, held at Memphis' Hi-Tone Cafe on Aug. 21 and benefiting the Church Health Center, aimed to please with performances by various local Memphis artists including the Dirty Streets, Skewby, Jeremy Stanfill, and Star & Micey, as well as former Recording Academy Memphis Chapter Board member Amy Lavere. One band whose participation hit close to home was headliner Lucero as their drummer, Roy Berry, recently sought help from the center after falling suffering a broken jaw in assault while on tour.

Lucero's story is that of the quintessential independent rock band — they've worked strenuously for the last 12 years to make a name for themselves in the Southern rock genre.

Former Stax Records co-owner Al Bell introduced the band to a sweltering hot, yet enthusiastic, sold-out crowd. With a recently healed jaw, Berry and the band took the stage and opened with the title track off of their 2003 release That Much Further West. Lauded for his candid, heartfelt lyrics and raw vocals, singer/guitarist Ben Nichols succeeded in leaving the ladies in the audience breathless and the guys nostalgic as the band played "Nights Like These," singing: "Yet I've only got this one wish/That I was good enough to make you forget/ The only boy who ever broke your heart."

Other songs included the affective "Wasted," "My Best Girl," and "I'll Just Fall," as well as a new song titled "I Want Your Love." As lead guitarist Brian Venable struck the identifiable chords to "Last Night In Town" there wasn't a still body in the audience. The blistering temperature prompted Nichols to mention the importance of cardio wellness as bassist John C. Stubblefield sprayed the crowd with water, declaring the show a "shirts-off party." Regardless of the sauna-like atmosphere, Lucero's performance seemed completely unimpaired.

The inclusion of revered saxophonist Jim Spake and an ample horn section on Lucero's major-label debut 1372 Overton Park, highlighted Memphis' influence on the band. Songs like "Darken My Door" and "Can't Feel A Thing" were well-received by the audience. The show's live horn section featuring Spake, Nahshon Benford (trumpet) and Art Edmaiston (saxophone), provided a robust sound that turned the Hi-Tone Cafe into an old school juke joint with a mixture of country and soul.

The final ingredient to the sonic formula was local master Rick Steff on keys. Eight albums and hundreds of live shows later, this homecoming proved that Lucero is unstoppable and that Memphis' rich musical legacy is not just a thing of the past.

To catch Lucero in a city near you, click here for tour dates.

(View an interview conducted by the Memphis Chapter with Lucero's Ben Nichols.)

(Relocating from Miami, Lucia Kaminsky joined The Recording Academy Memphis Chapter in 2005 as an intern. Her experience includes positions for Walt Disney Entertainment in São Paulo, and the Memphis In May International Festival. She is currently the Project Coordinator for the Memphis Chapter.)

(Photo Information: Lucero performs at the Hi-Tone Cafe in Memphis on Aug. 21 | Photo: Don Perry)

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