Because I’m super smart and responsible, my license plates are expired, which causes me to avoid driving away from local speakeasies late at night. As a testament to my personal responsibility traits, I lay low from the long arm of the law around this time of year. In fact, I spend a good deal of time walking to rock and roll shows to avoid any dreaded pink slips from being placed underneath my windshield wipers.
My love of Local H spans back more than 10 years ago to my high-school days, walking down the halls before, after, and sometimes during class blasting As Good As Dead on repeat. Oh sure, they got popular quite quickly thanks to that "Keep it copacetic" song, but the real gems on that album were just about every track as well, not to mention As Good As Dead's predecessor, Ham Fisted. I suppose the early comparisons to Nirvana were fair--it was 1996 and Kurt Cobain had died only two years prior. But Local H showed they were more than a one trick pony or a gimmicky duo. The drummer and vocalist employ a creative setup of guitar pickups to mimic the existence of bass guitar.
This is the fourth time I’ve seen Local H, though their recent performance at the recent and terrible Big Ass Show hardly counts. The first time was actually more than 12 years ago out at Great Saltair as they opened up for Silverchair back in both band’s heydays. Due to label woes, the H never really exploded past their second album. Thanks to limited releases and minimal promoting, and they soon slipped back into obscurity. But that doesn’t matter, because the band still clearly does what they love, which is write solid rock and roll tunes, have fun at their shows, and even hang out at their merch table after performances.
At Bar Deluxe last Saturday, the band opened up with several tracks from their recently release concept album, 12 Angry Months, without saying a single word to the crowd. Compared to the last two times I had seen the band, audience members were fortunately energetic and many were clearly there to see them play.
Really, I don’t think I personally know any current Local H fans, and many people don’t even know who they are (or were) until you remind them of the “keep it copacetic” and “Eddie Vedder” songs, but it was wonderful to see that the band still has a strong Utah fan base, regardless of how many albums they sell. After several new tracks including “The One With ‘Kid’," “24 Hour Breakup Session," “Michelle (Again)," “White Belt Boys," and “Fritz’s Corner," vocalist Scott Lucas spoke to the crowd for a while. He mainly discussed the drive into the valley listening to the radio and learning about how we’re a red state. After some joking around about politics, Lucas introduced the next song, “President Forever” by saying “hopefully we won’t have to play this song after a few more days.”
The H then plowed through “Taxi Cabs," “Hands on the Bible," and the hilarious “California Songs.” They finished the set with a fantastic rendition of TV On The Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” which just goes to show TVoTR’s influences don’t stem far at all from rock and roll. Considering this is my favorite TVoTR song, I’m pretty excited that one of my favorite bands covers it and does a great job. During this rendition, someone decided to hand Lucas their telephone, which likely had someone else on the other end. The band made the best of the disruption by keeping the song going while talking to our distant heckler for several minutes… it actually created a great opportunity to build to the final crescendo of the song. Definitely a rockin’ way to end the show on a high note, and easily the best show I’ve seen Local H perform. I had a chance to speak with Lucas at their merchandise table after the show, and he was as nice as I had always figured he’d be.
Next up: Electric Six. I knew zero about the band besides their rumored energetic live show. My friend thought I'd like them. She was right, and even though I am unfamiliar with their material, they put on a hell of a spectacle, complete with a cape. Obviously most of the bar was here to see Electric Six, and for good reason. The band seems to have put out an impressive amount of material in a short amount of time and the majority of what they played seemed to be well known by the crowd.
All in all, a great night at the ever changing Bar Deluxe!