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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Concert Review: Local H @ Webster Hall NYC 11/22/2008

       So tonight was the night. The eighth installment of the “Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series” and the venue: Webster Hall located in NYC @ 125 E 11th St. The band I was here to see was the one and only “Local H” who I have been fans of for a while. They've only got two guys in the band: Scott Lucas, the lead singer/guitarist (who devised a way to put bass pick-ups in his guitar, to make up for the non-bass player) and Brian St. Clair, who was the drummer in Illinois based band Triple Fast Action(and Liz Phair's former tour manager)..  Only sad thing about tonight is that they are Sandwiched between two bands I’m not too familiar with but thats what you get when you’re a narrow minded guy like me who doesn’t listen to the radio because its filled with garbage(or bands like the other two I saw tonight). Doors opened at 6, and the opening act was a band called “Fall on your Sword” then “Local H” followed up the headliner, let me foreshadow the dreadful,  “Electric Six.”  

      Webster Hall, now there’s one over rated place to be to see a concert. I’m sorry, but if I’m indoors seeing a show I want the place to be intimate not a place that is going to pack it out after the concert and blast techno music all night. If you want to do that then do it, I’m fine with it. Just don’t try to appeal to all masses of inward capital, that’s something I can’t stand. But the place was roomy, therefore very simple for me to the front. I wasn’t leaning on the stage, but the guy in front of me was. 

     So here we go, Fall on your Sword hits the stage. I’m hanging toward the back checking out the crowd building up for Local H. I was talking to some of my peers; most of the people I ran into were in the same boat as I was having never heard of either band and just there for Local H. Anyway, I notice a screen behind the band with this like slideshow sort of weird interesting funny things mixed with a little bit of Atari-like video game sequences. I thought that was pretty cool. Other then that, nothing was cool about these guys. I saw duel male vocalists, the primary was on keyboard and the guitar player was singing too; sometimes. Their drummer had this stupid Afro puff hairdo going on and after the set walked around Webster Hall unnoticed and not paid attention to. The vocals and or lyrics were a little whiney whether it was subject manner or just a whining sound. At one point during a song the guitarist/half singer stopped playing and started playing that thing with the bells that you bang on your hand. Definatly not the type of rock and roll and I came to see. And I herd a kick-drum! New rule, do not ever EVER attempt to incorporate “techno/house” into music your calling rock. That only leads to more genres breeding, more confusion and most importantly more garbage music. So to the band “Fall on your Sword”, I say do it. Please.

     As I entered the place before the show started I walked over to the “merch” table so I could purchase my ‘Local H’ tee shirt. I asked the dude if he had a XXL he said no so I said “XL then, whatever gets me in my Local H gear” he said cool and it cost me $15 bucks, the lowest price I’ve ever paid for a band tee at a show. The dude who was selling the stuff looked familiar. I walked away thinking about where I knew him from. While I was talking to the two dudes who noticed me taking notes during the Fall On Your Sword set. The dude said “what’s that the hitlist?”, jokingly because we were making fun of this band their whole set. I told them I review the shows. Then the other dude says “Scott said they go on at 7:45. I was taken for a second, I said “Scott?? Scott Lucas?!” (the singer/guitarist for Local H). They were like “yea, he’s right there at the merch table. Always is, every time we’ve seen them”. I looked back and he wasn’t at there anymore as 7:45 was approaching, But lets stop for a second here. Scott Lucas sold me my Local H shirt! Are you kidding me?!?! This isn’t a new band or anything, they toured with Stone Temple Pilots back in 1996 and just put out a new album (which is very good, I recommend it). I had a brush with celebrity stardom and didn’t even realize it at the time. If you think I’m ever loosing this tee you have another thing coming.


Now on to the main event in my eyes, one of my favorite bands: Local H. The set was amazing as now I have moved up to the front, like very front. Not leaning on the stage, but the guy in front of me was. Songs ranged from new to old to the mildly obscure unknowns and it was all amazing. Some douche-bag was attempting a mosh-pit sort of out of his drunken mess of a self but he was thrown to the floor on many occasions. At one point during a solo Scott went over to them and hand gestured, in a non-prick sort of way for them to chill out (Axel Rose would have stopped the show until they were escorted out). The only real problem I had with the set was that they we’re not the headliner therefore had to play a sort of abbreviated set. The first couple of songs were (I don’t have the first song because I had to run out to give my partner in rock/photographer her ticket.) “Fine and Good”, “Michelle(Again)”and “California songs”. During the song “California Songs” there’s a lyric “and fuck New York Too!” which Scott did not shy away from being in the city. Another lyric in that song is “California Dreamin’s on the radio”, which was changed to, get this “Mother fucking Weezer’s on the radio”. Wow, is that beef right there? Is that fighting words? I like Weezer, actually if you read back I was at the show at Madison Square Garden and it rocked. Love Weezer, since 94. But I get what he means by it. It may not be a jab at Weezer as a band but that most of their songs are just that, California songs. It was very interesting at the time. Did I mention Brian St. Clair? He’s the drummer, let me tell you something you need to be a good drummer if your in a two man band get what I’m saying? This guy was relentless with every hit just kicking the shit out of that drum set. Hair swinging, reminded me a little bit of a poor man’s Dave Grohl, just with a shirt and pair of gloves on. The drumming in Local H is never slow and soft it’s a very busy drum sound. Okay, they got into “BMW Man”, “White Belt Boys”(off the new record), and “Hands on the Bible”. Then they finished up with they’re biggest hit “Bound for the Floor” followed by a song I hadn’t known by them titled “F—k Yeah, That Wide”. If you’re a Local H follower your saying to yourself “what? They left out all those other songs like ““Eddie Vedder”, “All the Kids are right” “Cooler heads”” this list goes on”. And that’s all valid statements, but you have to take into account that they’re not the headlining band and this band Electric Six is about to play a 17 song set.

      A 17 song set which made me absolutely sick. First off, there was way too much stuff going on up there on stage. We had a light show that almost put me in an epileptic seizure. They also had what I’m just going to generalize as “sound making machines”(kick drums, synthesizer, anything disco/techno related) in addition to the 2 guitarists, drummer, bass player and keyboardist. They even brought out a saxophone player at one point at which time I couldn’t hear one damn note, next time into the microphone please. Oh yea, and they’re amazingly arrogant, Andrew Volpe(From Ludo) wanna-be who’s not funny at all lead singer. And I had moved to the back because I needed something to lean on to write a few things down and I’m watching crowd surfing. Crowd surfing to this techno-rock garbage? Are you people kidding me? And at the beginning of like almost every song the singer was like “lets get some dance music going”. What? This isn’t a disco, it’s a rock concert. They play the type of music that someone who listens to techno/house/freestyle music would listen to and think they’re a death rocker because they like it. It was an absolute abortion I’m telling you. I guess that quote I read in the paper from Ringo Starr was right, the music business is not concerned in what anyone over 21 is listening to. And its sad really, that a band like Local H who have pretty much paid their dues with 4 studio albums has to be on the under card for such a terrible sad excuse for a band. One of the worst bands I have ever seen live. 

      Electric Six was so bad that halfway through their set (about the time balloons started being thrown from the stage; what a bunch of pansies) I look over towards the merch table and Scott Lucas was back over there, only this time with people realizing it was him. I went back over there because he was talking to everyone, shaking hands and taking pictures with people(while of course, selling merchandise). So I noticed they had 2003’s ‘No Fun’ EP for sale for 8 dollars. So when the crowd submerged I got over there and stuck my hand out, shook his hand and said “great show, you guys rock man” he said thanks then I said “Let me get the No Fun EP” and he said sure as I paid him I asked him to sign my ticket stub which he did without hesitation. Then and I notice Gina (photographer/good friend) is standing right there and I’m like “Scott can I get a picture with you” and this guy is like the coolest guy on the planet. Autographs, pictures, discussion; just an all around cool dude. The picture should be coming to me shortly and I’ll post it up here when I get the chance. 

     After the dreadful Electric Six set ended I was walking towards coat check when I see Scott, again at the merch table and I asked him “when’s the next time you guys are coming around” and he says “We’re goin’ on right after these guys”. Got to love the sarcasm, so I just said “I’ll stay on top of your MySpace page for tour dates” and he said “that’s the place to go”, I shook his hand again, thanked him for the great show and he said he’d catch me next time. 

     Incredible, absolutely amazing; I met someone who I sort of look up to. Maybe not a celebrity or high end rock star to you, but to me Local H is in my personal top bands list. And Scott is right, I will see them next time… and every other time they come anywhere close to my area. What a great night despite the other crappy bands, Local H rocked it.. and when they roll back through town you know the Jay Porks Experience will be there.... but until then, the next time you should hear from me is December 13th when I get to see the Meat Puppets at the Williamsburg Hall of Music in Brooklyn. No opening acts listed as of yet. Should be fun, catch you readers then. Late….

Special Thanks: All Photos Taken By Gina Sachi Cody