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
This was my sixth time seeing Toadies and the third time seeing them at the Belly Up. 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 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!
For my third time seeing Local H I had the distinct pleasure of being able to revisit the Casbah. This place is just barely bigger than the other two places I saw Local H but much more well known. They had just released the killer new album Hey, Killer (like what I did there?) three weeks before this, which was the first to feature new drummer Ryan Harding. In the words of Scott Lucas, “The goal with this record was to trim the fat and just pile on the hooks. All killer, no filler is how the saying goes.” They ended up playing all but three tracks off the album and left room in their set for some of the older fan favorites. I still cannot get over how much sound these two guys can make but I love it. I would have paid much more than the $15 I paid to do it all over again.
SETLIST: The Last Picture Show in Zion, Creature Comforted, All the Kids Are Right, Gig Bag Road, Another February, Fritz’s Corner, City of Knives, Freshly Fucked, Hands on the Bible, Leon and the Game of Skin, The One With ‘Kid’, Deep Cut, Mansplainer, California Songs, John the Baptist Blues, The Misanthrope, Bound for the Floor, That’s What They All Say, High-Fivin MF
I was so impressed by Local H the last time I saw them a little over a year ago that I could not wait to see them again. They played at an intimate now defunct little dive bar type place in Normal Heights called the Hideout that I would estimate held about 80 people tops.
We arrived earlier than necessary due to some bad information, which was a good excuse to grab some beers and watch the opening band Bad Veins. Not bad but also not Local H. During the Bad Veins set Bob accidentally spilled beer all over a plastic tub, which ended up being where all the Local H t-shirts were stored. We found this out when Scott came over and had to clean up the spilled beer to get inside the tub where many of the shirts were now wet. He was visibly annoyed/pissed off (more so than usual) but did not know who caused this ruckus.
All I can say is that I would gladly spill beer all over his t-shirts every time if I could because it may have slightly contributed to an intensely seething performance. Drummer Brian St. Clair had left the band after the last time we saw Local H so this was our first time seeing drummer Ryan Harding who had only been the drummer for about 6 months. They quite simply crushed it. A small venue that holds maybe 80 people + loud ass Local H = fucking amazing.
We felt bad for ruining the shirts so I told Bob we had to buy one. Scott mans his own t-shirt sales so I got to say thanks for rocking when I bought a cool one with a Superman style logo…that ended up being too small. Karma is a bitch.
SETLIST: Buffalo Trace, Deep Cut, The Misanthrope, Eddie Vedder, Chicago Fanphair ’93, The One With ‘Kid’, Hands on the Bible, California Songs, Taxi-Cabs, Another February, Team, All-Right (Oh, Yeah), “Cha!” Said the Kitty, Fritz’s Corner, One of Us, Heroes, Bound for the Floor, What Would You Have Me Do?, High-Fiving MF, Heavy Metal Bakesale
I was sold on Local H the first time I heard “Bound for the Floor” back in 1996. So much so that I went and bought the As Good As Dead album not having heard any of the other songs. My hunch paid off as this band rocked. I was even more floored to find out that all that sound was coming from just two people. Somehow I had never seen Local H so when I saw they were coming to play a little dive called Soda Bar for $10 I convinced Bob and Tom to come see what I knew would be a great show. They were touring for Hallelujah! I’m a Bum album released about six months before this.
Soda Bar’s capacity is listed at 230 but feels much smaller if you are in front of the stage in the corner because the bar in the middle basically splits the whole place. I was mesmerized by Scott effectively playing bass and guitar at the same time through his custom rigged Stratocaster and Brian was wailing on the drums the whole time. My favorite moment was at the end when they played “High-Fiving MF” followed by what I can only describe as “Tape Man” where Scott taped the microphone to his face with duct tape and played some dissonance right before he jumped off the stage to walk to the back of the place to man the T-Shirt sales.