Chicago based, two-man alterna-grunge band Local H is touring right now in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their sophomore LP As Good As Dead, in which they are playing said album from 1996 in its entirety. As somebody who has listened to this album over 200 times over the past 20 years, I couldn’t miss such an opportunity.
Local H started out the evening by playing a 45-minute set of newer material that I hadn’t heard before, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying any of it. Right now they have Ryan Harding on the drums, and he has been since 2013; but for the second half of the evening they brought in original drummer Joe Daniels (who played on As Good as Dead) on a second drum kit located opposite of Ryan’s. The bill for the night was Local H opening for Local H, meaning that after a 45-minute set of newer material and a 15-minute break, they would re-enter the stage for a complete second set of material (including the full album as I mentioned earlier).
Rarely have I been to a live experience as satisfying as this one! They didn’t go in the exact order of the album’s track listing but they did cover each song. Everyone in the crowd went nuts for the more well-known songs (“Eddie Vedder,” “Bound For the Floor”) but most everybody sang along enthusiastically to every track played, especially the heavier songs like “I Saw What You Did and I Know Who You Are” and “Back in the Day.” The venue wasn’t quite at full capacity (750) but there were enough bodies to make it a rewarding live experience (Scott stage-dove after the last song and the crowd carried him to the merch table about 50 feet away). The evening was topped off with a story about 311 (and how one of the members billy-clubbed Scott in Chicago, whilst he was innocently riding a bicycle), two Rolling Stones covers, and finally “All the Kids Are Right” from Pack Up the Cats. But really, this is the song that brought me there last night:
Good: The 90’s weren’t ALL bad, folks. I wasn’t a seasoned metalhead yet, but there were still plenty of great bands during this mostly-forgettable decade, bands like Local H, Hum, Failure, Sunny Day Real Estate, the list goes on. It’s great to see bands like Failure and Local H releasing new material, and I can’t help but feel like some of the now-defunct bands could be selling more albums if they were around today (Soul Coughing immediately comes to mind). Seeing Local H play live for the first time ever put the biggest grin on my face from the beginning of their set at 8PM until the last song finished at 10:30PM. (I can’t thank those fellas enough for calling it an evening at a decent time! I’m old.)
Bad: As you may have heard, Black Crown Initiate was robbed in this great city of St. Louis not a week prior. This is a dangerous city in which to tour, and the venues that host most of the touring metal bands are located in parts of town where folks should not leave vehicles containing expensive equipment unattended. I believe a little safety could go a long way, but it still really fucking sucks! St. Louis has been a big center of media attention and racial tension since the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, and this trend of touring band thefts isn’t helping. We will eventually figure things out, but it’s in a sad state right now.
Ugly: Me in the 90’s. A young Jimmy McNulty could be found wearing baggy jeans that dragged on the ground, paired with a Disturbed or Static-X shirt. There aren’t too many ugly things right now, so this is the best I can do. I’ll show you one thing that’s not ugly, this huehuehue shirt I purchased at the merch table:
I had an absolute blast; it’s one of the better shows I have attended. So this Flush it Friday is primarily GOOD… but share with us your Good, Bad, and Ugly for the week. You get bonus points if they’re all somehow 90’s related!
(images via The Ready Room and my cell phone)