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4/14/09

PHOTOS: LUCERO in Detroit by Andrew Bender


Saturday night saw the return of alt-country, punk,
indie rockers Lucero to the Magic Stick in Detroit.

Having witnessed their crowd pleasing, energetic show two years ago also at the Stick, I was eager to experience another night of flying sweat, beer, and bodies. Fortunately (or not, depending on your perspective), the Stick decided not to serve any beverages in glass, making this show vastly more blood-free than the show in 2007.

A truly genre-defying act, Lucero mixes country music themes of love and loss, with emo-punk themes suggesting far more self-reflection than does most country music, all belted out in a sweetlu raspy voice by lead singer Ben Nichols.

Further evidence of Lucero's crossing of audiences was seen in the wide array of hairstyles at the Magic Stick that night - mohawks (not the faux-hawk, but real damn shaved head mohawks), afros, long hair, cowboy hats, rock-a-billy pompadoured guys and women with jet black, Betty Page-esque bangs.

A lot of fun was to be had up toward the stage (but good luck getting in there) as a fair amount of crowd surfing was going on. At about 3/4 capacity, I was happy that the show was in the Stick and not at the Majestic Theater where it was originally scheduled.

It's been said that Lucero doesn't have die-hard fans as much as they have folks who scream out the lyrics to every song at the top of their lungs and will do anything to make a show. This was certainly an apt description as men and women alike were pressed up against the stage, and later on in the evening, joined the band on stage to rock out while the band played on.

Kids stage diving and crowd surfing, only made the night that much more genuine as people were only there to have a good time. I'm not sure the last time I saw a long haired, bearded hippie kid rockin out next to a couple of skinheads, but there it was.

Two guitars, electric bass, drums, keys/accordion (there's a true lack of good, accordion-driven emo-punk alt-country rock out there, in my opinion), and a lot of angst, Lucero's live performance makes you want to drink a beer and then smash someone over the head with the bottle because the girl you liked doesn't like you back, and then sweetly, tenderly care for the bloody aftermath, as only a brother (or sister) could do.

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