Lucero at the Sweetwater Music Hall, by William Wayland
Lucero (photo: William Wayland)

Whisky shots are passed to the stage. Maybe a little gets spilled. And someone knocked a table over. Glasses crashing on the floor. The band is making sure they’ve got the chord changes for the next song.

Lucero is a band that will try a song they know they don’t know. Stopping midway through, apologizing for mess up, and then starting again. Lyrics get missed but it’s OK. The audience knows the words.

There isn’t a lot of polish on a Lucero performance. But goddamn. What soul! That’s a show.

You get the feeling Lucero needs to play these songs. Maybe that’s why fans travel so far to hear them. On the first night of Lucero’s three-night residency at Sweetwater Music Hall, I meet people from Colorado, Texas, and Georgia. And all of them are coming back for the next two performances.

On the first night of Lucero’s three-night residency, Victoria George entranced an audience that was in no mood for a warm up band. Her unique blend of country music makes you forget you’re in Mill Valley, California and not Nashville, Tennessee.