After a string of shows in Scandinavia at the end of August, Los Lobos came back to the states and on Friday, September 7, at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento, gave a raucous performance that not only proves that Los Lobos is one of the best live acts in the world and even after all these years, they are still rocking as hard as ever.
The evening started with sonic attack by local band, Sol Peligro, who got the very eclectic audience moving from the first chords with their mix of cumbia, reggae, jazz and amazing energy on stage. Sol Peligro received a great reception from the crowd who were left more than ready for Los Lobos who would have a tough act to follow.
After the energetic set by Sol Peligro, Los Lobos had to come out swinging in order to keep up the momentum and swing they did, as they began their set with “How Will The Wolfe Survive” and “Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes” which threw the crowd right back into the action singing and dancing.
For many novice listeners, Los Lobos mainly means “La Bamba”, but those of us who love music, we know they are much more than that, not only are they great musicians and craftsmen, their music transcends all types of musical barriers, language and culture and at the Ace of Spades it was not the exception. Besides playing a healthy dose of hits like “Kiko and The Lavender Moon”, “Don’t Worry Baby”, “Chuco’s Cumbia” and others, they also did a good mixture of covers like “Hey Joe” made famous by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, for which the crowd sang the song all by themselves and few others; and of course, the norteño factor could not be missed as they played “Mexico Americano” and the classic “Volver Volver”, but for the novice fan, they were not to be denied and they closed out the show with a hard rocking rendition of “La Bamba” with the Rascal’s “Good Loving” thrown in right in the middle, which left the audience asking for more.
Another great thing about Los Lobos is that they never repeat a set list from night to night like many bands do. Most bands rehearse a certain number of songs for the tour and they may switch one or two songs from night to night and the rest of it is the same set every night, but not Los Lobos, I have had the privilege to watch them live several times in all types of venues, small, medium and big and they always play a different set, they may play some songs, that are “required” by the audiences, but even then, they will change the order of the songs which I think it keeps it fresh not only for the band, but for the audience because there are always surprises as their interpretation of “Hey Joe” at the Ace of Spades.