This was the fourth time I have had the pleasure of seeing Local H. Their live show is always fantastic and very lively and thus worthy of going out on a weeknight, especially since this tour had them celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the As Good As Dead album (which I love) by playing it in its entirety. Bob originally bought me a ticket as a birthday present and was set to go with me until he figured out that he booked a week long family vacation during the same week. Whoops! I recruited Calvin to go with me which worked out nicely since he does not live too far away from the venue. I picked Calvin up and he immediately pulled out a fat pre-rolled. A couple miles and puffs later we were walking into the Belly Up to Local H who had just started. I could not believe how few people were there. I would estimate the place was about half-full. What a crime.
This show was unlike any of the previous times I had seen them. There was a drum kit set up on the left and right hand side of the stage with plenty of room in the middle for Scott Lucas to play. Instead of just playing the entire As Good As Dead album they opened with a full hour set of songs from their latest album Hey, Killer and crowd favorites like “Hands on the Bible” and “California Songs.” The “new” drummer Ryan Harding was the drummer for this set. Let me just say this guy is a machine. He was the drummer the last two times I saw Local H but this time he was especially awesome and crushed the drums non-stop. Scott was going off as well. They were feeling it. This is the first time I have seen Local H that Scott seemed happy. He was not scowling at the audience like he had the previous times I had seen them and was cracking jokes. After a brief intermission Scott came back with Joe Daniels, the original drummer on As Good As Dead and thanked the opening band Local H. “Those guys are pretty good.” I had only seen Joe in the liner notes of the album and he looked like a skinny black dude with dreads. Now he is ripped sans dreads. They started off with “Manifest Destiny Pt. 1” but then went right into “Bound For The Floor,” saving “High-Fiving MF” for later in the set. Some of my favorite moments were “I Saw What You Did And I Know Who You Are,” “Nothing Special,” “Back In The Day,” “Fritz’s Corner” and when Scott did his best Jimmy Page imitation by tacking the solo from “Heartbreaker” onto the end of one of the songs. Up to this point Scott had switched between a custom Strat and Tele but for the last two songs he played a Gibson ES 335. This is the first time I have seen him play a guitar without the bass pickups. He was able to do so because Ryan came back out to play bass for the last two songs. Pretty cool.
Joe was a good drummer but not as hard hitting as Ryan so it was interesting to see both in one night. The first time I saw Local H was before second drummer Brian St. Clair departed and after seeing Local H with all drummers it seems like Scott keeps finding drummers who hit harder than the last, which is fine by me. Go see this band if you have a chance!