Los Lonely Boys at the Roseland

By Jason Wojciechowski on September 24, 2005 at 3:42 AM

I managed to blow off getting ahead on my law school work last night to see Los Lonely Boys with Austen at the Roseland. To put it the short way: awesome.

The brothers play like you'd expect brothers to play in the best of cases. They always looked they were having fun on stage, and it's hard to believe they weren't. Jojo and Henry got together and danced across the stage occasionally, and it seemed like Jojo and Ringo had a little "wink-nudge" rapport going on all night. Most importantly, the fun shows up in their music. This is a band of musicians, not rock stars, and that shows up in their extended improvs, both within songs, including their established hits (like "Heaven"), and in pure-and-simple jams (like when Jojo and Ringo took a break off-stage while Henry solo'd for five minutes or so).

The band played a number of songs from their new album ("out sometime in November," according to Ringo), and it was evident that they weren't as comfortable in them as they are in the "old" songs, mostly in the lack of showmanship and jamming. This isn't to say, of course, that the new songs weren't as good or that they didn't play them with the energy and passion they showed elsewhere, just that they took a much more straight-forward approach to these songs.

Jojo in particular is a pure showman. He's a bassist, but he acts like a guitarist-singer-frontman. He was the one who started the dancing, the running around the stage, playing over his head, playing with one hand (!), blind, etc. etc. Henry, while not "laid-back" by any means, definitely struck me as the follower in terms of total entertainment spectacle (which is hardly an indictment of anything substantial; nor would it matter if it were, because his guitar work outstrips anything else you could find to say about him).

Can I come up with a negative? Not of the band or the show (or even the venue), certainly. Something personal, though? I'll admit something, which will place me squarely in the square category: I'd never been to a show, concert, live musical performance (in which a family member was not playing) before. Los Lonely Boys being (justifiably, as I discovered) known for putting on a fantastic live show, will anything else live up to this? Austen's mom got me tickets to see My Morning Jacket and Kathleen Edwards in October, and while I'm certainly excited about that (I hope Kathleen Edwards plays for like two hours), is MMJ likely to match the energy (not to mention musical prowess) of LLB?