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Sound Advice: Nick Lowe, Los Straitjackets to Bring Rock Romp to Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall | Music Feature | Cincinnati

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Photo: provided by Shore Fire Media

Nick Lowe (center) performs with Los Straitjackets.

Songwriter and producer Nick Lowe has been around long enough to have witnessed bell-bottomed pants come in and out of style at least three times. His work from the late-1960s forward helped prop up some of music’s most prolific new wave and post-punk stalwarts, including Elvis Costello, who turned Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” into one of his own signature songs. In the ensuing decades, Lowe has moved through pop, country, and everything in between.

But now Lowe has entered a new phase of his career, and the “Cruel to Be Kind” singer is enjoying the hell out of it. Now touring with Nashville surf-rock band Los Straitjackets, Lowe has returned to unabashed rock-and-roll. The pairing – Lowe with his shock of white hair and zaddy glasses, and Los Straitjackets with their suits and Mexican wrestling masks – might seem odd at first glance, but the touring show brings out the best in both, bowling over concertgoers with a dose of nostalgia and a freight train worth of fun.

Speaking of Lowe’s buddy Costello, Napoleon Dynamite will kick off a tour in Huber Heights on Aug. 6. Lowe and Los Straitjackets are opening for Costello for most of the schedule, but not here – local fans instead will see indie crooner Nicole Atkins.

Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets play Memorial Hall at 8 p.m. June 8. Tommy McLain will open the show. Masks and proof of COVID-19 vaccination are optional. Info: memorialhallotr.com.

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