Warning: setlist below.
Los Lobos were stunning, as always, last night. The combination of
musicianship, songwriting, professionalism, charm, and humility never
ceases to amaze me. They had a new drummer and percussionist in tow, but
the sound never felt bloated despite the lineup being expanded to seven
pieces; rather, it lent new firepower to the more traditional Latino
pieces. Hidalgo's voice soared as ever and he shredded his Tele and
accordion. Cesar Rosas remains the definition of cool. Steve Berlin
looked like a mad prof switching between keys and sax. Louie Perez
remains a little superfluous live, but added some nice guitar licks and
steady rhythm playing.
My only complaint -- and it's a very slight one -- is that the setlist
went a little heavy of jammy blues and light on Kiko experimentalism.
But it was a sleepy Sunday night in a small college theater auditorium
(450 capacity), so they were working the crowd with the bluesier stuff.
It was fun to see how loose they were. Working without a setlist, they'd
start by either Rosas or Hidalgo yelling out a title or playing a riff
and off they went. They made it thru a verse of "Honey Don't" before
Rosas bailed -- Hidalgo said they'd been to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
the day before and they were inspired to give it a shot. Similarly, I
saw Hidalgo showing the percussionist and drummer the rhythm pattern to
"300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy" as they walked out for the encore. Great
Cordero opened and were great, absolutely winning over the crowd. They
veered between Lobos-style rocked-up trad and Feelies-esque rock. When
they combined the two, it was very special. I'm anxious to hear the
record today. Ani Cordero, the lead singer, used to be in Man Or
I used to joke that Los Lobos belong in the Smithsonian because they are
such a wonderful musical treasure. And now I'm half-serious: rather than
honoring them after they die, have the Smithsonian sponsor their tour
and let them spread the gospel on the gov't dime by playing free shows.
People need to hear the Wolves.
Set list below.
Covers are denoted by >.
02-Feb-03 Parrish Auditorium, Miami University - Hamilton, Hamilton OH
When The Circus Comes
One Time, One Night
The Big Ranch
Luz De Mi Vida
Hearts of Stone
Done Gone Blue
Don't Worry Baby
I Got Loaded (w/Lovelight verse)>
Not Fade Away>
This Time into Wait In Vain> and Sitting In The Park>
Honey Don't> (aborted)
Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio
300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy>
Good Morning Aztlán