Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Hardly Just Another Band: Los Lobos Live

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Los Lobos are a joy to behold, especially when you see them live: there is absolutely no artifice with this great band from east LA.
Los Lobos are a joy to behold, especially when you see them live. There is absolutely no artifice with this great band from east LA, which is why a performance such as the acoustic set in New Hampshire, might well rank among the happiest concert experiences you are likely to have.

The abbreviated first set of approximately thirty-five minutes consisted of authentic Mexican-flavored material much of it, like the titlesong culled from the group's 1988 roots album La Pistola Mi Corazon. Between the sweeping acoustic rhythmic guitars, full-throated vocals and knowing smiles from the band members, it was hard not to be enchanted. And the band was similarly affected: it wasn't long into the show before everyone in Los Lobos had smiled at one another with the pleasure of musicians in synch before a receptive audience.

Yet this comparatively subdued introduction was no preparation for the second extended set including two encores before a roaring response from an audience that, before the night was done, had filled the aisle and stage front with gyrations of joy (David Hidalgo even pulled some spectators on stage!). "Saint Behind the Glass and "Kiko, both well-acknowledged Lobos originals, might well have been traditional tunes, given their melodious nature and this night at the Opera House, an exquisitely intimate venue, signaled a shift of gears where the band let it rock before their second set was through.

Cougar Estrada had become almost indiscernibly prominent on percussion during the course of the evening, playing the kit with brushes and working congas with increasing intensity behind Louie Perez and Hidalgo on acoustic guitars (and the latter also handling violin and accordion). As Conrad Lozano began to play deep electric bass lines and Cesar Rosas, the definition of cool in his dark glasses and wry repartee to the audience (and no slouch as a lead guitarist either), began using an electric twelve-string, the energy level and the temperature rose distinctly so that, when Steve Berlin forsook his earthy sax playing for organ, Los Lobos took flight.

They may have crossed the line from ingratiating to unctuous when, seqeuing from "I Got Loaded (interpolating "Turn on Your Love Light ) to "Not Fade Away, and then into "Bertha : what might've been a gesture of respect to the Grateful dead became borderline pandering. And then there was "La Bamba, but you can hardly argue the merits of terrific rock and roll songs when rendered with the gusto Lobos radiated.

Little wonder the crowd would hardly let them off the stage, even after "Guatanamera, so that "Good Lovin' became the most appropriate set loser possible. The bond between the band and its audience couldn't been much more intimate and given the fact there were no security confrontations as the dancing spread from one aisle to the other, it's hard to know who had a better time September 29th: the musicians or the music lovers.

Photo Credit
John E. Schwarzell


comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jamie McLean Band
The Blue Note Grill
Durham, NC
$10 - 10
Los Lobos
Infinity Music Hall and Bistro
Norfolk, CT
Los Lobos
Gateway City Arts
Holyoke, MA
Los Lobos
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver, CO
Los Lobos
Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival
Winthrop, WA
Los Lobos
Mountain Winery
Saratoga, CA
Los Lobos
E.J. Thomas Hall
Akron, OH

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Charlotte Jazz Festival 2019
By Mark Sullivan
May 16, 2019
Live Reviews
Nubya Garcia at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2019
By Ian Patterson
May 16, 2019
Live Reviews
Electronic Explorations in Afro-Cuban and UK Jazz
By Chris May
May 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Charlotte Jazz Festival 2019
By Perry Tannenbaum
May 13, 2019
Live Reviews
Savannah Music Festival 2019
By Martin Longley
May 12, 2019
Live Reviews
Eyolf Dale at April Jazz
By Anthony Shaw
May 10, 2019
Live Reviews
Imogen Heap with guy Sigsworth at Lincoln Theatre
By Geno Thackara
May 10, 2019