Seeing Lucero in LA was a trip.

15 May

luceroA decade ago or so I lived well below the poverty line. I worked hard, ate rarely, and spent a lot time in the kind of bars most people think only exist in old country songs. One afternoon I was drinking a Stag and working on my scooter while my bread baked. A disheveled young man walked up and said, “You’re gonna love this.” Stoned and smiling bashfully he handed me a CD. I remember the way the afternoon sun lit every crevice of the world without shining too brightly, the smell from the kitchen, and the crackle in my grandpa’s old Hank Williams vinyl as I looked at the broken CD case in my hand. It was Lucero’s self titled album and it became the soundtrack to that summer.

When I saw Lucero recently in LA I didn’t expect (or want) it to come with a complimentary TARDIS ride back to my stomping grounds or anything, but admittedly I was looking forward to a little slice of the old days. I was surprised however to walk into a huge contingent of college students majoring in keg stands. I weaved my way through the crowd, avoiding eye contact and keeping an unapproachable posture.

Pretty much the same crowd that was at Lucero's LA show.

Pretty much the same crowd that was at Lucero’s LA show.

As the band stepped onto the stage a couple of frat-holes put their arms around my shoulder and tried toasting. Upon discovering that I didn’t have a drink they looked at me as if I had broken their hearts. I knew seeing Lucero in Los Angeles would be weird and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but aggressive, drunken, bad tattoo having bros never crossed my mind.

Hey bro, your tattoo isn't as clever as you think it is.

Hey bro, your tattoo isn’t as clever as you think it is.

Even though ironic Silverlake beards, faux grease monkeys, and one six-foot tall witch house chick occasionally blocked my view, for the most part things went pretty well. Out of nowhere the frat bag to my right screamed, “I love booze!” His buddies cheered and their dates giggled, I cringed. Suddenly a bro reached his arm around me and said, “Chill, it’s a party,” as one of his buddies tried to balance a beer on my head. I threw his beer to the ground, they glared at me in disgust and left. Victory was mine bitches! I vanquished the assholes from my land!

For the next few songs I felt untouchable–that is, until somebody touched me. On the shoulder. I cringed, being touched by a stranger is disgusting, it makes you want to go home and take a shower.

Hey guys, when a girl avoids eye contact and you talk to her anyway, this is pretty much what it's like.

Hey guys, when a girl avoids eye contact and you talk to her anyway, this is pretty much what it’s like.

It’s some middle-aged trying-too-hard-greaser-type guy. He asks where my boyfriend went, I look to the stage and tell him I’m just here to see the show. That’s when he swept the hair off my shoulder and leaned his lips to my neck. I smashed his head against the sound booth-twice. With his tail between his legs he retreated.

The band sounded great though, so it didn’t take long to relax. Some more bros filled in around me and started clapping so grossly off beat it sounded like shoes in a dryer. They sang over the band and danced–and by dancing I mean stumbled, spilling their tall boys everywhere, creating a sticky swamp on the floor. They demand I dance with them, I declined, so one grabbed my shoulders and tried to force me close. Oh-h-h-h-h, big mistake young one. I swiftly broke his hold on me and pinned his arms to his sides. As he stood, startled and confused by my rejection, I informed him through clinched teeth to never touch a woman he doesn’t know and to get far away from me. He cried. I fought back the laughter.

Eventually I found a spot at the  back of the room where it seemed the other non-frat attendees had migrated, a space where we could all stand back and watch the show, and the show was goddamn amazing.

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