LIVE: Los Lobos @ The Egg, 12/3/13

Review by Greg Haymes

“Sounds across the nation
Coming from your hearts and minds
Battered drums and old guitars
Singing songs of passion
It’s the truth that they all look for
The one thing they must keep alive
Will the wolf survive?
Will the wolf survive?”

The band eased into their signature song early in the show – just the fourth song of the night and the first after Enrique “Bugs” Gonzalez took over the drum throne from multi-talented Louie Perez. Surprisingly, there was none of the usual “recognition applause” that audiences tend to offer up when a band kicks into a crowd favorite, but the musicians were unfazed. David Hidalgo’s keening voice rode over the top of Gonzalez’s cowbell-fueled big beat, a balanced mixture of determination and matter-of-factness. This is what they do. They play music. And more often than not, that music turns into magic…

Yes, Los Lobos have survived. 40 years. With the core quartet intact. Pretty fucking amazing…

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And they were pretty amazing in concert at The Egg in Albany on Tuesday night. From the opening volley of old-school rock ‘n’ roll nuggets “I Got to Let You Know” (Cesar Rosas’ lead vocals) and “Let’s Say Goodnight” (Hidalgo vocals), the band was on a roll, and they just kept gathering steam and momentum as they rolled through the night…

the heart-bruised, regret-filled “Little Things”
the relentlessly stompin’ “Set Me Free (Rosa Lee)”
the Spanish language “Chuco’s Cumbia,” driven by Steve Berlin’s big, blustery baritone sax
the easy-going lope of “Tin Can Trust”
the swaggering “Manny’s Bones”
the undeniably swinging “That Train Don’t Stop Here,” fired up by Conrad Lozano’s insistent bassline
the strolling “Tears of God”
the still spooky after all these years “Kiko and the Lavender Moon”
the shotgun blast of “Don’t Worry Baby”
the romp through Traffic’s “40 Thousand Headmen” (with some fine flute playing by Berlin) and the final encore of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”

SECOND OPINIONS:
Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “They followed with ‘Tears of God,’ a ballad, before heading into the homestretch by ripping into a fast southern rock instrumental, everyone at high volume and high energy. It wasn’t the best thing they did Tuesday night — it was a little forced — but it was still good. Another one came two songs later, Rosas singing ‘Don’t Worry Baby,’ the whole group sounding like ZZ Top at its heaviest. Yes, Los Lobos has L.A.- Mexican musical roots. Yes, they have years behind them to hone their wide-ranging style. But in the end, Los Lobos is a rock band. People come to see them rock more than anything else, and that’s what they did Tuesday night more than anything else.”

One Response to “LIVE: Los Lobos @ The Egg, 12/3/13”

  1. Rudy says:

    One of my favorite bands. Wish I could have made it there.

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