LIVE: Los Lobos @ the Cohoes Music Hall, 7/22/18
Review, photographs & video by Rudy Lu
45 years and still going strong, the juggernaut Los Lobos played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Cohoes Music Hall last month. Although, they are one of the most versatile rock bands on the scene today, with a huge song list – occasionally playing acoustic and primarily Latin influenced music – they chose to emphasize the electric guitar sound that brought them national prominence. They primarily played old favorites that many in the crowd were more than happy to hear.
The guitars of David Hidalgo, Louie Perez and Cesar Rosas were in front of their full sound. The always-there steady bass of Conrad Lonzano and bari sax of Steve Berlin added low end punctuation. Relative newcomer Enrique “Bugs” Gonzalez on drums did more than meat and potatoes timekeeping, adding unusual accents and flourishes to complete the full sound.
Opening with “The Neighborhood,” a song about life in the ghetto, the band’s unrelenting power and big beat set the tone of the concert.
By request, they unleashed a cover of the Cream classic “Politician,” describing the seduction of the public by a nameless politician. The menacing, leering guitars of Hidalgo and Rosas served well to accentuate the lyrics, “I support the left, yet am leaning to the right.” A song that sadly is still relevant to our times even though the original was recorded 50 years ago.
The original “Chuco’s Cumbia,” with the rhythm of that Columbian dance style, swayed the house. The rocking “My Baby’s Gone,” a fast blues shuffle, was played with great gusto. And “Don’t Worry Baby” boogied along as a train going full steam.
To break up the heavy music, lighter jam medleys such as “I Got Loaded/Turn on Your Lovelight” and “La Bamba/Good Lovin’” reminded the crowd that this was truly a party.
Opening was Local 518 favorites Hartley’s Encore. Luke Malamood and company played a short set of horn-accented funk that set the stage for the festivities. We are extremely lucky to have such strong local bands that make Greater Nippertown such a music destination.