Disconnected in New York City
The decision to spend a bit of time going back through the (stunning) Los Lobos back catalog has me, finally, catching up with last year’s live album (recorded in 2012 in fact, as part of the band’s 40th Anniversary celebrations). It’s a labour-of-love of course working through the Los Lobos albums, no duds, just different degrees of brilliance, certainly (at least) a gem or two on every album. So here, with a live set, the band does its best to showcase some of the hits and highlights.
There’s material from right up to the last studio album, the stunning Tin Can Trust and they even serve up the song you’d be sure they’re all sick of – La Bamba. Here sandwiched into a medley with Good Lovin’ to close out the main set. But it’s the slow-burning ballad Tears of God and the six-minute groove-lurch of The Neighbourhood that offer the magic moments.
Truth told, the crowd sounds pancake-flat for the most part – and the band is quite possibly coasting. No mistakes, no real risks, just giving the people what they want, ripping out that mix of rock’n’roll and R’n’B with a subverted Cumbia beat or in the Tex-Mex style.
If you only ever thought of them as the La Bamba guys – a cruel blessing/curse that hit must have been for the band – then this is certainly something of an introduction for you, a stop-gap release though really. There’s so much more from The Wolves outside of and away from this little collection – though on the encores (a bonus disc) they rock out a nice Don’t Worry Baby – always a highlight and jam strong across Mas Y Mas.
Still, it left me wanting more. But then that’s always the way. This band is so good.