By the end of the night, we all forgot it was the “Early Show”..Hello people, What goes on as we enter the 45 installment of that ever so famous Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight we head back to the cozy confines of the Mercury Lounge to see one of my favorite bands still touring, Local H, who I've seen on two other occasions: first time they opened for Electric 6 (barf) and last time they rolled through Gramercy Theater the show was turned into an "early show" last minute to make way for Stone Temple Pilots to do a midnight showcase for their latest album, one of which I've already forgotten the name.
Tonight it's billed as the "Early Show", but at least this time that fact was clear months in advance. As a rock journalist blogger guy, early shows give me a chance to get home at a decent time and get to work. Doors open at 6:30 w/ the show starting at 7:30.. And I know there's an opener, one of which I'll fill you in on when I make it there-now it's 5:26 and I'm on the ferry headed into Manhattan-I guess no time for a stop a Tad's steakhouse before the show like we did on Tuesday, oh well- I can eat later, right now all that's on my mind is that spot leaning up against the stage that I hope to score...
The Dig is the opening act, as I perch myself against the stage as previously planed, to the far right. Made the mistake last time of being 2 feet from the drum kit-I was deaf for days. Anyway the Dig had vocalists taking turns on songs, although the bassist seemed more of the lead guy. They had 4 guys, drums guitar and bass with a keyboardist who had a guitar next to him and played it on some tracks.. Couldn't have played much, maybe 5 or 6 songs but as their set went on they intensified and got heavy. I can say I enjoyed them enough to have a look at their music when I get home. They went off about 7:30, leaving a half hour for Local H to set up- sign said they're on at 8PM..
The room has filled out as I'm pressed against a pillar up against the stage and the few feet of elbow room I had was gone. The pillar plays a role in tonight's video. Let's explain: The pillar I'm leaned against is at the front right corner of the stage, so at times I would lean on the steps getting on the other side of it capturing shots of the band from the side of the stage-actually on stage at one point. I keep saying this place is tiny, but I can't stress it enough. There are no “event staff”, this is basically a bar with a back room containing a stage. So on songs like “High Fiving MF”, and “Wolf Like Me” I sorta move back and forth weaving around this pillar depending on Scott's moves. No one could stop me-it was truly a situation that deserved a tag of #Winning.
First song in, I'm back in my rare Tuesday night form-just rolling tape. It was so loud in the I was able to scream along lyrics without worrying about it being heard on the videos(hopefully)... Kicked things off with "Fritz's Corner" and "All the Kids are Right" before "Cynic"- a song in which I thought I had recording until I looked at the screen and noticed it wasn't rolling. That would be one of my two slip ups of tonight.
You get into that "Okay, now I'm gonna rock out" mode when you hear a few awesome songs in a row- and that feeling was at a climax when we were in the middle of "24 Hour Break Up Session"- and then that's when a full cup came flying from mid-crowd towards my direction, hit me dumping beer all over me and the surrounding few people. Are you friggin kidding me? All over my blazer and white button down (I came straight from work)? If I wasn't enjoying myself so much trust me when I say that someones face was getting broken. Consider yourself lucky dude, lucky that self control prevailed , as I have a job to do here
Few songs later we move into, get this, a NEW Local H song! I know this is the "All the hits all night" tour, so safe to say I was delighted to hear a new number by the band called "Another February". Sounded freaking great-my camera rolling still. Then came to "High Fiving Mother Fucker", and it was at this time that I worked my way around the pillar and was sitting on the steps to the stage watching Scott throw his guitar towards the amp- feeding back that beautiful distortion we've all come to love. And of course I will be fooled again, as I stopped tape bout halfway through that song thinking it was over- something Reverend Justito and I discussed just two days ago; you'd think I'd be ready for that-but they tricked me! I woulda gotten the whole song too, "if I weren't for those meddling kids!".. Tricksters they are those Chicago folk.
Someone screamed "Lets hear it for Chicago!" and Scott stares up and is like "Okay".. Goes on to say “We're not really into anything, but one we're into regionalism. If there's one thing this bands not about it's regionalism. You won't hear a song by us like slamming another region- we feel that we are all equal” Just from that I figured "California Songs" was coming up sooner rather then later. Then Scott says “Here's another failed single” as this jumped into "Everyone Alive"- followed by my favorite song off their latest album 12 Angry Months- and that was "Michelle (Again)".
I have to address these two chicks down front. There were two girls leaning on the stage about 8-10 feet to my left. One of them was screaming stuff at Scott endlessly, at one point calling him over and whatever she said when he leaned over there he was not on board with. Who knows. Anyway, she was with a friend who may or may not have been her girlfriend(they were making out during “Hands on the Bible”, all over each other-forcing my camera to at times float in that direction). So the girlfriend is going with the no shirt just bra look. Like, just the bra rockin' like it was dead of summer time or something. A few times, the bra-only chick stood on stage and just fell back into the crowd getting surfed towards the back. I usually see shit like that go wrong, but not tonight. During one song she jumped up on stage hand around Scott singing along-breaking into laughter as he sorta nudges her away and says something to the effect of “go find your shirt”. I wanted to scream “Show me your tits!”-but again, tonight I wear a blazer-lets act the part.
The person I hate but the song I love, "Eddie Vedder" came up next. It's another one I haven't seen them do live. I had one hand on the camera and the other was slamming my hand against the pillar rocking out. I've mastered the art of one handed typing this week, and I must say I'm proud of myself.
We continued to plow through great songs.. “Mayonnaise and Malaise” , 'Hands on the Bible” came before we finally got to "California Songs" which before the song Scott says “Regionalism” and the five people who didn't get the "regional" joke earlier most certainly have gotten it now. The lyric for "California Dreamin' on the Radio" was changed to "Fucking Katy Perry on the radio”
I really don't know how I was able to record all this as I'm having the time of my life over here 3 feet away from Scott. I'm closer to the band then the speakers are. Then he walks to the other side of the stage during the song and steps down into the crowd and is just jammin' over there surrounded by people. Man, I wish I was over there.
Everyone is shouting out songs one dude catches Scott's attention. Scott says to the dude “I know-I'm gonna get to that-I've got it covered I'm a professional.. I'm up here-you're down there, there's a reason for it” as the crowd lets out a harmonious “OHHHH” then continues on “I don't come to where you work-do I really need to finish this?” before leading into a new song: “We usually do a cover here, but fuck it play here's new one. Song's called "Cold Matter".. Another awesome tune that fits right into my Local H playlist seamlessly. Following that came one of my top like 4 concert memories of all time happening right here tonight- they covered "Joey" by Concrete Blonde! Not that I'm huge into Concrete Blonde, but I frickin love that song and love Local H covering it on that “Local H's Awesome Mixtape” compilation of covers. I know they do it often, but to be right there- to not be watching it on YouTube for those 4 minutes. Epic.
In theme with All the hits all night- "Bound for the Floor" came next, and then to end the night classy, shouting out “RIP Gerard Smith!” before getting into the cover of TV On The Radio's “Wolf Like Me”. I mean, they had already covered Concrete Blonde's “Joey” and then went into “Bound for the Floor”. I figured on the 'All the Hits All Night' bill they wouldn't do any covers (or new music for that matter). More examples of why Local H are so awesome..
While playing, for the second time tonight Scott is headed towards the crowd- only this time he's headed down the stairs right towards me. What the hell do I do? Do I stop filming- is he gonna smash my camera with the neck of his guitar? So I back up as he's continuing towards me-finally stops and leans up against me as I tried to capture it on film but it's too dark to see on the video. Wow. I can't Scott Lucas was riffing inches from me! WHAT?!?! SERIOUSLY?! Amazing. And that was it- they went off like 9:30..
After the show I had to hit the merch table to catch Scott for an autograph and a tee shirt and to try to make this night more epic. As he's looking for an XL I leaned over and said “Dude I thought were coming to smash my camera!” he chuckled and said “Nah, not at all” as I got my shirt, ticket signed and tried to swim through dozens of people packing in trying to meet Scott and buy stuff. I squeezed through and grabbed hold of the door and popped outta the doorway Cosmo Kramer style out onto the New York City street. There I saw Pam, who sadly, was stuck in traffic and didn't make it to Mercury Lounge in time to grab her ticket at Will Call and see the show. I felt so bad for my friend, who loves this freakin band and the damn Holland Tunnel prevented her witnessing the awesomeness. I handed her my autographed ticket (having two more at home anyway), and we went on a hunt for the Pam-Van... what a night..
Thanks for reading, sorry I couldn't get this posted last night as my web was giving me trouble. Below is a full set list. Stay tuned to the site for more shows coming up, including back to Terminal 5 Friday May 6th for Bad Religion(for some reason Rise Against is headlining). See you all then hopefully, thanks again. LATE..
All the kids are right
24 Hour Break up Session
All Right, Oh yea
Another February(new song)
High Fiving MF
Mayonnaise and Malaise
Hands on the Bible
Cold Matter( New song)
Joey (Concrete Blonde)
Bound For The Floor
Wolf Like Me (TV On The Radio)