Lucero w/ Crooks & Liars @ Velvet Jones ~ Jan. 26, 2011

What kind of time can you expect when you walk into a venue and the place and patrons reek of strong whiskey before the show even starts? A damn good one, that's for sure.

It felt more like a home coming than a rock show, and for some that's what it was. Locals Crooks & Liars, otherwise known as "Donald!", opened the show with their hard country rock sound. Lead by front man and Velvet Jones bartender, Donald, C&L rallied the crowd with constant banter and songs about drinking, followed by more songs about drinking - there was a lot of drinking involved. Donald quipped about the crowd only having to "suffer through one shitty band" before the headliner, which wasn't true; there was no suffering involved. C&R played a solid set and ended with a cheery singalong, getting the crowd ready for more.

Lucero came on stage looking like a bunch of rough road dogs. Just coming from a sold out show with Social Distortion the day before, they had every right to look worn out. But I think they just look that way, because they certainly did not play like theys were tired. With a voice that sounded like he had to smoke a pack with a fifth of Jack every two hours, Ben Nichols lead you through a honky-tonk musical adventure, his voice feeling like warm whiskey for the soul. Drinking heavily and playing hard, Lucero delivered country style punk rock for nearly two and a half hours. Requests were sung, mistakes were made, and a good time was had by all.

Well done.