Los Lobos, City Winery NYC 12-20-22

StrangerNY

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Posts
6,183
Location
Somewhere between here and there
Los Lobos is a band that I've meant to go and see ever since the early 80s, but just never got around to. Last night the wife and I made it out to Pier 57 - City Winery's posh new digs on the banks of the Hudson to finally see this legendary band.

signal-2022-12-21-102754_006.jpeg


I'm not familiar with a lot of their catalog, so I'll just mention some of the highlights.

They opened with 'Down On the Riverbed,' and it was gnarly. David Hidalgo's voice is still in great shape, and his fuzzy de-tuned Strat gave the song that perfect edge. Since it's the holiday season, the band did 'Donde Esta Santa Claus?' and got a good part of the crowd singing along. 'Love Special Delivery' from the Native Sons record rocked, even without the horn section. Cesar did a really nice tribute to The Rascals' Dino Danelli - he talked about being kids in East LA and hearing those Rascals records and trying to play them and do justice to them, then launching into a pretty-much perfect cover of 'Come On Up.'

That's when it hit me - I was watching legends. These guys have been rocking for nearly 45 years, and at this point they can lock in and really roar, and it was pretty inspiring to watch.

After a couple more songs they took a break, and I walked up to the stage to check out the gear. Here's Cesar's side of the stage.

signal-2022-12-21-102754_008.jpeg


He started the show with a really nice shell pink Tele and rolled with it for the whole first set. He played the acoustic on the encore, and most of the second set with what I thought was a Les Paul Junior, but the cutaways were too sharp to be an LP. I have no idea what it was. In this shot you can see more of the body. Sounded great, whatever it was. He didn't pick up the SG Junior at all.

signal-2022-12-21-102754_005.jpeg


Over on Hidalgo's side was the sunburst Strat he stuck with most of the night, before switching off to a Mary Kay Strat late in the second set, and then what looked like a Danelectro mandocello (8 string) for the encore. Louie played that black Tele all night, only switching to the jarana for the acoustic numbers. Conrad played an immaculate Precision bass all night before switching to guitarron late in the set.


signal-2022-12-21-102754_007.jpeg



Break was over and they came back for the second set, and they covered so much ground - Big Joe Turner, Richie Valens, Cesar did 'Hey Joe,' 'Dear Mr. Fantasy' by Traffic with a guest (sorry, didn't catch who it was, but here's a pic).

signal-2022-12-21-102754_003.jpeg


They wound up the set with 'Guantanamera,' with Conrad on vocals (he dedicated it to his wife).

signal-2022-12-21-102754_002.jpeg


Great band, great show. I'm sold. It only took me 43 years to see them for the first time, but the next time they come to NYC, I'm there.

- D
 

Mike Eskimo

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Posts
23,944
Location
Detroit
Saw them in 2021 for the 19th or 20th time. First concert since lockdown.

I saw their first gig in Detroit in ‘84 and since then I’ve rarely let them pass by.

They are loyal to no brand of instruments, they play them all.

The one in 2021 was interesting because David didn’t make it because his daughter was having a baby or he was sick. I can’t remember which.

At first, I was disappointed but about three songs in I said oh this is cool they’re gonna concentrate on whatever Cesar wants to do and it was a ton of party songs and covers.

Ended up being one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen by them.

Congrats to the OP.

Oh yeah, but 10 years ago a buddy of mine said he was going to see Boz Scaggs at an outdoor shed in the summer. Did I want to go? I said hell no.

And he said well Los Lobos is opening.

I said, when are you picking me up?

They did a tight hour all designed to blow people away, who had never heard them before. Like a festival set.

It worked.

I was laughing my head off because the first couple songs people were still talking but by the last two or three songs, They were all on their feet, jumping up and down dancing , freaking out.
 

KC

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
5,176
Location
Missoula, Montana
Have seen those guys many times, starting in the 80s when I was running a sound company in Portland OR and they were on the west coast punk rocker circuit. Great band, tons of great material. Saw them last summer opening for Tedeschi Trucks and I thought they had the headliner / opener acts backwards.
 

richiek65

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Posts
6,627
Age
58
Location
Sydney NSW Australia
Right up at the top of my bucket list bands. Doubt they'll ever get down here again though, kicking myself for having missed them at a big free outdoor show about 10 years ago. Hopefully they'll still be playing somewhere when I get my sorry butt Stateside one day
 

MisterZ

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Posts
1,608
Location
Finger Lakes of NYS
How does the new City Winery compare to the old space? I used to go there a lot, and loved the vibe of the place. Perfect size, great food, great wine list.
 

StrangerNY

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Posts
6,183
Location
Somewhere between here and there
How does the new City Winery compare to the old space? I used to go there a lot, and loved the vibe of the place. Perfect size, great food, great wine list.

Pretty posh! It's about 4 times the size, with balcony seating and what must be 30 foot ceilings. There's also a smaller venue upstairs called The Loft.

We saw Kings X in the old place and sat right at the lip of the stage. We were in the next to last table seats last night, and we still weren't that far from the stage.

The old place had obstructed views in a couple of spots. No such problem here, great views of the stage no matter where you sit.

And there's a glass wall that I believe opens up on to a patio, right on the river. Great view of Jersey. :)

Also real good food and an enormous wine list. Being a beer drinker I didn't indulge, but my wife loved it.

- D
 

bowman

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Posts
3,783
Location
Massachusetts
Love Los Lobos. They are SO good at everything that you’d never be able to tell if they were having a bad night. I see them every chance I get, but that’s not a lot. They seem like such normal, salt-of-the-earth guys, too. They are the opposite of show biz hype - the music does all the talking.
 

Dave Hicks

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Posts
3,695
Location
Hoosierlandia
I love these guys, and have seen them half a dozen times. They're always good, but the shows I liked a bit less were a couple where Cesar didn't make it - he's the coolest cucumber in the salad! 🥒

D.H.
 

KokoTele

Doctor of Teleocity
Vendor Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
15,075
Age
47
Location
albany, ny [not chicago]
Great recap!

I've seen Los Lobos a few times, most recently as part of the Wheels of Soul tour with Tedeschi Trucks Band. There are always great bands on that tour, but Los Lobos is one of the few that can match TTB in terms of breadth of creativity on stage.
 

stephent2

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 22, 2003
Posts
7,978
Location
Georgia/Minnesota
Around the house we'd have my music library shuffling, a great song would come on and my wife would ask, who's that? And most often it was Los Lobos. I've bought most of their music over the years starting w/ their first, they are wildly versatile, so many different styles of American music. Great songs, wonderful voices, gifted musicians,.. you could easily argue they are the greatest working American R&R band.
 

chillybilly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Posts
155
Location
NC
Always been a dark-horse fave of mine.

Interesting to see they have plexiglas baffles for the amps but not the usual baffle around the drum kit. Still, debates rage here and elsewhere about stage volume, big amp vs small amp, attenuation, modelers, going direct, guitarist battling the drummer, guitarist battling the soundman, vocalist battling everyone etc. The so-called silent stage is appealing in many ways but requires a lot of kit and a lot of planning and doesn't always provide satisfactory results to the musicians themselves.

The baffles, then, seem to be an effective compromise and don't spoil the view.

I must say that I am surprised at the number of big names (still) using Fender Hot Rods as I personally have never been able to get a sound I liked. They're loud though!

I recall reading about the situation with Cesar's wife/family at the time. I read the tragic details in his bio just now.
 
Top