Los Lobos, Leeroy Stagger | City Winery | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Los Lobos, Leeroy Stagger Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Sold Out (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Dec. 13-16, 8 p.m. 2015

It’s mind-boggling that Los Lobos have soldiered on as a band for more than four decades without a personnel change (unless you count the addition of saxophonist Steve Berlin in 1984), and on their latest album, Gates of Gold (429), they again reveal the ability to reenergize themselves. The quintet continue to balance roots rock with the cumbia and ranchera they grew up with in east LA, but keep the mixture fresh with straight-ahead panache and deft experimentation—and where many bands their age coast on a deep catalog, they keep adding new tunes. The album opens with “Made to Break Your Heart,” a midtempo gem distinguished by an extended guitar solo from David Hidalgo that summons the frenzied spirit of Neil Young. Later it shifts gears with “When We Were Free,” a loose, minimal groove developed by Hidalgo and Louie Perez in the lo-fi style of their Latin Playboys project, on which the commanding bass of Conrad Lozano provides a shifting array of muted, texture-rich instrumental flourishes. As usual, guitarist-vocalist Cesar Rosas steps in with the traditional ingredients, whether shaping the nasty choogle of “Mis-Treater Boogie Blues” or designing the galloping cumbia of “Poquito Para Aqui.” On top of all of this, Los Lobos happen to be one of the greatest live bands in rock history.

Peter Margasak

Price: sold out

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