This was the fifth time I had the pleasure of seeing Local H and ironically the last time I saw them was at the same venue for the 20th Anniversary of As Good As Dead at the beginning of last summer. These guys tour relentlessly, as evidenced by the fact that they were technically still touring on 2015’s Hey, Killer. Apparently the newest drummer Ryan recently had a baby so he was sitting this tour out. I don’t know where Scott finds these guys but whomever he had behind the drum kit was the fourth drummer I have seen him play with and although I prefer having Ryan behind the kit, this guy killed it too. Even though this was not her usual scene I convinced my wife Ingrid to go with me and we were nearly front row for the whole energetic performance. I very much enjoyed “Hands on the Bible,” an absolutely blistering version of “Bound for the Floor,” and the one-two ending punch of “Fritz’s Corner” and “High-Fiving MF.”
SETLIST: John the Baptist Blues, The Misanthrope, City of Knives, Michelle (Again), Hands on the Bible, The One With ‘Kid’, Bound for the Floor, Gig Bag Road, “Cha” Said the Kitty, Cooler Heads, The Last Picture Show in Zion, Fritz’s Corner, High-Fiving MF
In another kawinkidink this was also my fifth time seeing Toadies and although it was not the last time I saw them, I did also see them at the Belly Up celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their breakthrough album Rubberneck back in March of 2014. This time they were touring for the excellent album The Lower Side of Uptown that had just been released a couple weeks before this. I did not keep track of all the songs they played (too busy rocking out) but do remember “Take Me Alive,” “Tyler,” “Happyface,” “My Sweetness,” “I Come From the Water,” “Summer of the Strange,” and the closer “I Burn.” Two badass bands that I love for the price of one? These two bands were a match made in the clouds, which is where I was the entire time.
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 2 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 2 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 2 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!