So, today makes the one year mark- our first Lucero show. . . I’d finally talked Cody into it! It took him long enough to come around. It happens.
Counting that first show, we’ve seen Lucero or lead singer Ben Nichols ten times in the past year. It’s been a lot of fun. Here’s a few things we learned along the way.
1) Hot Springs isn’t really our thing. We’d talked about seeing what it was like. But, you know, even when you visit someplace that isn’t so much you, you can still make great memories and you never know how they will influence you. Like the next 9 shows and so many miles that followed that I don’t want to add them up. I mentioned Friday, that Hot Springs has one of the best Cracker Barrel’s. Something we learned on this trip. . . that came into play for show 9. . . or the drive there. It seemed we were never going to get to Memphis. And, our side trip to Hot Springs was no exception to that. But since Cody drove “halfway” to Hot Springs to get gas, we couldn’t think of any reason not to go to the Cracker Barrel. Cody was spontaneous. . . mark it down on your calendar.
2) Tour Schedules make great planning guides. We’ve made several trips to new places- not just Hot Springs. But we got to see Memphis and Little Rock too! oh and Fayetteville too! Well, lots of Arkansas, really. I think part of the reason that we’ve seen so many shows is just that we’ve enjoyed the road trips and getting to see places. It just happens we’ve picked dates and locations based on their schedule.
3) It’s fun to do something wild and crazy- like follow a band around Texas. Shows 2, 3, and 4 were all in one weekend. Dallas to Austin to Houston in three days. We saw lots of Texas and there’s never anything wrong with that. I don’t even mind it’s big cities. (Sometimes they have a lot more to offer than our little small town.) And when we met up with my cousin, I might have said something that’s gonna have me eating my words. . . I’ll let you know.
4) Venues are all different but the last one just felt more like home to us. The last show we went to was at Gilley’s. . . more like the honky-tonk’s we both cut our teeth on. It probably helped that the other band playing was the Drive-By Truckers. . . It was different too when we were back in a college town since we’re a little used to that ourselves. But, we’ve seen a lot of places and walked a lot of miles to them. We only did the cab thing once. . . And yes, like old folks, we usually scope out the location before the evening begins.
5) Give me the horns! I can’t say enough about them- I just love them. And Lucero’s early songs with the horn’s now- oh my! I’m kinda fond of some of the harder stuff with the horns. And, boy have we explored the horns and some of influences that brought them to Lucero. When we went to Memphis, the Stax Museum was pretty high on my list.
6) At the same time, I love to hear it all acoustic too! Each set has some acoustic in it and I really wish we could swing their shows next month which will include them opening up for themselves acoustic. Anyone want to sponsor us? But, we went to two Ben Nichols shows. . . the one we planned in Memphis that gave us an excuse to see Memphis and then the last minute trip to Little Rock.
7) But, we love the drums, keys, accordion, and guitars too. After two straight acoustic shows, and a few months passing since we saw the full band, we were ready to hear it all. This band is so big that it often feels like you have to pick sides. Since I wanted to hear the horns, we stayed by them the last time- next time we’ll watch from the other side.
8) Each show has special moments and things that you remember- no Lucero show is the same and since they play most of their songs, it just does not get old. Some of my favorite moments- Banks of the Arkansas and Last Song on the two nights in Fayetteville, watching Ben and Brian in June just having fun, the disco ball during Slow Dancing in Memphis, and watching Ben sing “Mom” with his mom there in Little Rock. But, that only scratches the surface. It’s no surprise that I pick out moments from the shows the same as I do in life.
9) It’s interesting how everyone wants to classify things. Why do we always feel we need to do that? I can’t tell you how many times, since we’ve made all these trips, we’ve had to explain who Lucero is. . . and the next thing folks want to know is what genre. . . but Lucero’s a genre all to themselves.
10) We still can’t get enough. We’ll be seeing them again in Little Rock in December.
It’s been a fun and crazy year for us. . . crazy for us probably seems pretty sane to others. Whatever.