Thursday, June 28
Local H is one of those bands that flirted with stardom and, for whatever reason, it didn’t flirt back.
In 1998, the band had just released its third album, Pack up the Cats, and was inexplicably dropped from Island Records while the album was actually going up the charts. Then the two-piece band got cut down to one after drummer Joe Daniels called it quits, leaving frontman Scott Lucas to carry on.
Even though it would be four years until another Local H album surfaced, since 2002 the band (now with drummer Brian St. James) has released two full-length albums and an EP.
Lucky for the packed Patio crowd Thursday night Lucas decided to go on. The band ripped through 19 songs in 100 minutes that included several jams and improvs. Both the opening and closing songs were nearly 10 minutes long and everything in between was total rock ’n’ roll.
Near the end of an energetic version of their one big hit, “Bound for the Floor,” the band segued into Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4,” playing it all the way to the end of the second chorus. During heavy, screamy songs like “High Fivin M.F” and “All Right,” the audience erupted with pumping fists, headbanging and, dare I say, even a few pits.
Things got really out of control during two-minute screamer “Fritz’s Corner” as someone slipped and it started a domino effect, causing several people to fall on top of each other with no room to move. But like any good crowd, there were several hands immediately available to pull everybody back up on their feet.
Later, during the spacey outro for the song “Hey Rita,” Lucas stepped off the stage and continued to play right in front of me and my new pit buddies. One could easily have written it off as pandering, but I think it was a nice touch.
Toward the end of the show and coming off as just as big a smartass as he does in his lyrics, Lucas told the crowd, “This is the part where we walk off stage and you pretend we’re not coming back out by clapping and cheering for us. Well, I’ll save you the trouble because here’s the encore.”