Los Lobos Live At The Fillmore Review

Live. Released 2005.  

BBC Review

It's just a shame that they couldn't have made it a double...

Chris Jones 2005

It seems astounding that, after thirty plus years in the business, Los Lobos have waited this long to capture themselves live on tape. In fact it was the occasion of their 30th anniversary last year that prompted the recording and filming of this show. This is both a good and bad thing. Good because in three decades they've become one of the hottest live acts on the planet: Exercising telepathic interplay while retaining a gritty edge. Bad because in such a huge career overview there are far too many highlights ignored.

From the release of their debut album their winning combo of Tex Mex, blues, rock 'n' roll, country and Mexican folk had critics raving. But of course it wasn't until they hit something of a lowest common denominator stance with the soundtrack to La Bamba that they found widespread acceptance. This live document shows you how they were always much more than just Richie Valens copyists. In the space of fourteen tracks they take the listener from the gutsy Bo Diddley rumble of ''I Walk Alone'' through the swampy blues of ''Charmed'' while veering way south of the border with tracks like ''Maria Christina'',''Luz De Mi Vida'' and ''Maricela''. They even have time to whip up a Cajun storm with the accordion-driven ''How Much Can I Do?'' And just to cover all the bases they encore with a heartfelt version of Marvin's ''What's Going On''.

It could be that this eclecticism has hampered their acceptance over the last thirty years - especially with non-American audiences - but in this setting you can't help but be won over. It's just a shame that they couldn't have made it a double for their fans (like me) who miss tracks like "Mas Y Mas" and "Don't Worry Baby". The somewhat cavernous sound may stand up better while accompanied by the visuals available on the companion DVD, but if you've ever wondered what happened to those guys from LA who had that one hit years ago, here's the place to catch up...

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