From its beginnings crossing over from playing at Mexican weddings to LA punk clubs, to its fluke-hit cover of "La Bamba" from the Ritchie Valens biopic, to its most recent series of challenging-yet-satisfying albums combining roots sensibilities with high-tech instruments and recording methods, Los Lobos has never done the obvious thing.
The band's sound is hard to pigeonhole -- a blend of blues, rock, soul, folk and Latino influences that mutates freely from album to album and even from track to track. And in an age of video-friendly performers, these are defiantly ordinary-looking men, a bunch of middle-aged guys who dress more like blue-collar Joes out for an after-work beer than pop stars (though guitarist-vocalist Cesar Rojas can rock a pair of shades with the best of them).
However, given that the group still has a major-label contract, serious clout with critics and a considerable fan base, one would assume that Los Lobos' interest in performing in a small, intimate venue stems from a desire to get back to barroom basics rather than from economic necessity. Regardless of the reason, this is a rare chance to see a legendary band still at the height of its powers, up close and personal.
Show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door; call Ticketmaster at 314-421-4400.