Why play in Harvard Square once when you can play it 3 times?! I haven’t seen a show at The Sinclair since it opened a couple years back, but it’s a pretty nice, intimate venue. It was a good setting for the tour opener, who was of course, Lucero! The By the Seat of Our Pants Tour not only had Lucero playing multiple nights in MA, NY, and CA (2 cities, LA and SF) but opening for themselves with an acoustic set to start each show. And they are a great band to pull it off, with a huge numbers of songs, many of them that actually work better in a more stripped down arrangement. Older songs like “Wandering Star” and “Hold Fast” from their debut album were given new life, while “The Other Side of Lonesome”, one of the only newer songs they played, actually received the best crowd reaction of the acoustic set. Whether they recorded them to be these ways like on the Texas and Tennessee EP, or have reinvented songs 10-15 years old, they have finally embraced their inner country roots with this setlist that would fit in as the backdrop to people drinking Lonestar and slow dancing in a Southern Roadhouse.
The electric set opened with the lead song from Women & Work “On My Way Downtown” and continued with “Nights Like These” and live staple and Jawbreaker cover “Kiss the Bottle”. They did mostly stick with upbeat and full band songs, because hey they just played 14 fucking acoustic songs and they have electric guitars, a full drum kit, and, oh yeah, a horn section, so it might be a good idea to use it. The title track from Women & Work and “Sounds of the City” were best at waking up both the brass-playing band members and the half-in-the-bag crowd. Even though they played a lot of older songs in the acoustic set they didn’t leave them out from the electric set, playing “I’ll Just Fall, “My Best Girl” and the always depressing “The War” between breaks for beer and whiskey. Happy Veteran’s Day!
After playing a song from Ben Nichols’ solo album, they closed out the set with a trio of “All Sewn Up”, “Tears Don’t Matter Much”, and the piano ballad “Fistful of Tears”. Then after the drunken crowd eagerly anticipated the band coming back during 10 minutes of drunk crying/threatening to fight everyone in the place (just my experience?), Lucero came back for the encore. Fittingly “Drink ‘Till We’re Gone” came first, followed by “Joining the Army” (Did Veterans get free admission?), and the hell raising “Tonight Ain’t Gonna Be Good”. I always think of this song as their most punk song, which was sort of a weird choice to end a night where their country influence showed through much stronger. Even in the electric set, “Texas and Tennessee” and “Union Pacific Line”, two newer, softer country songs were some of the high points. But I guess even the sad cowboys want to get wasted and rip shit up.
The Drink: Beer and Whiskey of course.