In the slums of St Paul I found Paradise. Okay that’s an exaggeration on both ends. But The Turf Club is a nice old bar located in a rather shitty part of the the Twin Cities that feels pretty comfortable inside and pretty dangerous just a block in either direction. It’s truly a rough local…. at least by MN standards. I mean, yeah, it seems like the hood. Which only adds to its charm for me, and at the very least drops down the price of tickets and booze. Plus, they have a full bar with a load of good beers on tap at The Turf Club, so you shouldn’t be disappointed if you find yourself at a show there.
Only about 300 people could fit inside this bar for the sold out show, but most of the crowd was there to hang on every word from Ben Nichols. Which would have been great if he could hang onto any of those words himself. Even before helping himself to several shots of whiskey provided by the crowd Nichols was forgetting the words of Lucero classics, stopping mid song to tell stories, and screwing around in general. Which was….great. If I wanted to hear “Can’t Feel a Thing” perfectly I could have just stayed home and listened to it on my computer.
Nichols played in front of an audience he know he could be personal with. Or be terrible with, and we’d still forgive him. It was a reminder that there is a real person behind all these songs. Yeah sometimes you want to see a tight performance, but as an artist I bet sometimes you want to be able to start and stop whenever you want without your horn section getting pissed. Nichols played some Lucero favorites, but more deep cuts, songs from his solo album, a song from the soundtrack to his brothers movie, really whatever seemed right at the time. And for a change he probably didn’t mind taking requests from the audience because I don’t think he had any idea what he was playing next. I wouldn’t want it from every show I go to, but it was a refreshing change from the over planned concerts you see regularly. Life is boring, why make it worse by caring too much?
Edit: I was drunk when I wrote this. Apologies for the typos and other nonsense. I need an editor and a sponsor.