Despite their deep catalog of recorded material, Lucero have been most known for their raucous live shows since they began playing them in the late ’90s—road warriors leaving it all onstage every night. There’s a good reason for that: On performing live, last year bassist and band founder John C. Stubblefield told The House List that “it makes the moment much more transcendent when everyone in the room is on the same wavelength. We don’t make set lists. And we definitely feed off the crowd. We actually listen to the crowd. They might shout out something we haven’t played in three years. And it’s like, ‘All right, let’s give it a try.’” But don’t let the fact that Lucero (above, doing “Women & Work” for Minnesota Public Radio) are fantastic live dissuade you from checking out their discography. In fact, Lucero’s most recent release, the terrific Women & Work (stream it below), out last year, is filled with evocative lyrics, Ben Nichols’ whiskey-soaked vocals and bits of punk, country and boogie, all laid over Stax-style horns.
Since forming in 2005, indie punkers Titus Andronicus have earned comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, Bright Eyes and the Pixies. Rolling Stone has even gone as far as to say they “may be the most ambitious punk band in America.” Not too shabby, right? Following the release of their second album, the much-praised The Monitor, the group went through some lineup changes. But they returned with an equally acclaimed third LP, Local Business, last year. And it just so happens that Titus Andronicus (below, doing “Still Life with Hot Deuce on Silver Platter” for Pitchfork TV) are also known as fiery performers, so when they play Terminal 5 tonight with Lucero and the punk-inflected Scranton, Pa., four-piece the Menzingers, you’ll know exactly where to be.