After many years of missing Local H, I finally got my chance to see them live. We were planning a trip to the in-laws in Bloomington, when I saw that the Chicago rockers were playing The Castle Theater, which is a venue I've always wanted to check out as well. It was a perfect set of career spanning hits and songs from the new record.
The Castle Theater was the right fit too, very small and intimate, holding tight the explosive sounds of two men, that sounded like ten. The power pop of "Feed A Fever" got the blood flowing, sounding better than it did on record. And therein is the true miracle of Local H: making every song sound as if a full band is playing behind them. Scott Lucas is an incredible song writer, with a knack for making each rock tale translate well into the live setting. It's hard to fathom how two guys can sound this good, without any other instruments, but they do. Playing to their strengths is the key, as most are rock songs built on power chords with a ton of passion, and just the right amount of patience. All those stops and starts create the amount of tension and emotion that a full band would generate, and it doesn't hurt to have melodies the crowd can chant. It's a great formula for success and Scott Lucas has been excelling in the pop rock category for about 25 years.
"Another February," "Cold December," and "Hot Summer" accounted for a lot of the sweating and moshing as "H" pounded their way though the seasons. "Sad History" brought the mood down for a moment, and then "The Kids Are Alright" brought it back up. "Eddie Vedder" was a highlight and showcased more great songwriting, moonlighting as the perfect pop song. "Fritz's Corner" blew the doors off the Castle, and reminded me more of Nirvana than Dave Grohl does these days. "Ruling Kind" was brilliant, I kept singing it long after I left the venue. Another one of the songs that really stuck out was "California Songs." Actually an older hit by Local H, that seems to have taken on a new life. You might remember it?
It really hit home this time around. Something about hearing it live, made it important to me for the first time in my life. A band that was proud of their city, that wanted more attention than they got. I get it. Why didn't I get it all those years ago? Because I was an elitist; music-wise that is. Every band that I liked had to follow a code, and if they didn't fit in my guidelines, than they were shit, or sell outs. Throughout the years, Local H has had a lot of hits, or radio songs that I have written off, but I take them all back.
You see, in the beginning I wasn't a huge fan of "H." I thought they were riding on the Nirvana tip, or purporting another grunge act. Years later, some twenty years later, I realize like any other band, they were just influenced by the times. They would prove all the haters wrong, "and that includes me/that includes me." See them live, listen to their catalog and you will be blown away by how accomplished and versatile they truly are. Look no further than their latest LP , and take a listen to "Look Who's Walking On Four Legs Again." Local H is not afraid to change with the times, and they keep their act relevant with strong songwriting. Hats off to them for their longevity in a dying business.
2. High-Fiving MF
3. Feed a Fever
4. All the Kids Are Right
5. Another February
6. Sad History
7. Fritz’s Corner
8. Ruling Kind/Hot Summer
9. The One With ‘Kid’
10, Eddie Vedder
11. California Songs
12. Look Who’s Walking on Four Legs Again
13. Hands on the Bible
14. Cold Manor
15. Bound for the Floor
16. "Terrible Lie" (The National cover)
17. Back in the Day
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