Here we are on this rainy New York City night for the twenty seventh edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series.. Tonight we are headed to the Blender Theater at Gramercy, 127 East 23rd street to see the legendary hard rock duo from Illinois- LOCAL H..
Interesting subplot to this evenings show: Earlier in the week a story broke that the Stone Temple Pilots were trying to squeeze Local H out of the room for tonight’s event- or should I say LiveNation tried to push Local H out so STP can play a ‘Midnight Showcase’ for their latest record effort.. Rumblings earlier this week on fansites finally led to an announcement on the offical STP site that tickets for a show at Gramercy Theater for May 18th, today. I was a bit puzzled.. So Livenation sends me an email titled “event information” and I immediately panicked… Opened the email to read that “Doors will open at 7PM.. Show will start 7:15 and end promptly at 9:30… I was pissed that my second time seeing Local H may be abbreviated – just like the first time I saw them at WebsterHall in November of 2008.. I wanted to organize a protest outside the venue after the show- but that idea seems to have been rained out.. Oh and by the way, the sign says for tonights event: An Evening with the Stone Temple Pilots..
Local H is currently on their “Six Angry Records” tour, where in every city before each set they will be picking a random album of theirs out of a hat and playing it in it’s entirety.. The albums in the hat are “Ham Fisted”, “As Good As Dead”, ” Here comes the Zoo”, “Pack up the Cats”, ” What ever happened to PJ Soles?” and “12 Angry Months”….
Never a huge fan of the bands playing entire albums thing, because I’d rather hear a varied collection of a bands work rather than a single time frame- but it can be good depending on what band, which album and what kind of feeling is in the air that night..
Got in about 7:15.. Kinch was ready to come on.. I walked up to the merch line where Scott Lucas was at his normal post selling his band’s tee shirts and CDs.. So I’m on line thinking what am I going to say to this guy when I get there- I probably have enough time for one question so I better make it worth it. Like that one pick up line everyone has for that one showstopping chick that walks by when you only have one swing at the plate.. I had to think quick, so I got ready. The question was going to be : “Whats your favorite record to play live?”.. The line dissipates slowly, and I’m finally face to face with the man of the hour, lead singer/ Guitar player of the band we all came to see, Local H.. So I step up, and open my mouth to speak- and as soon as I did, thats when Kinch hit the first chord of their set.. No words were heard- didn’t even finish the question. So now he’s awaiting me to make a purchase, so I chose this cool looking shirt that said “Local H 2010” in an extra large. I usually try and go for the tour shirts just so I can always say I was there, and there it was. So with loud guitars in the backdrop Scott pauses as he’s looking at a list he’s making tracking sales, he looks around confused, so I smoothly said “You just got ripped off didn’t you?” and he said “Yea.. I did” and that when I slipped him the money along with my ticket, a pen and my fan-boy stare.. I gave him the “can you sign my ticket?” line.. He scribbled his autograph on the ticket and I thanked him and walked away. Once I got away from the line I realized that I just got ripped off…. Scott Lucas stole my pen!
Kinch was a pretty cool band at times, and not so much my flavor at times.. think of Death Cab meets Silversun Pickups without that annoying squeal that the dude from Silversun Pickups has… sounds wise any.. They’re from Phoenix.. They came out and played about 6 or 7 songs and “promptly” went off at 7:48… I survey the room at this time and notice a slight crowding and cheers getting louder as the room continues to pack in…behind the standing
room area, is auditorium like seating set up above us.. That must be for the
STP set later, because those seats remained vacant for the nights proceedings. I also noticed that I’m leaning on a barricade about 6 feet from the stage- this being my first time at the Blender Theater, I’m not sure if this barricade is here on a regular basis or just here because the establishment, big business rock and roll will be taking over later in the evening…. 8pm is approaching quickly, and here comes Brian St. Clair for drum check.. Now Scott lining up his pedal boards we’re finally at the main event.. Ladies and Gents, the one, the only- LOCAL H!!
After the meet at the merch table with Scott, I noticed some prime real estate on the barricade on the most left you can go.. I’m in a corner- Nobody in front of me, directly in front of the drum kit.. this is where I’m going to be getting killer footage all night long.. Didn’t know how close I really was til Brian slammed that first snare.. This is going to get really LOUD really fast.. Scott grabs the microphone and says “This is kinda weird… sort of feels like we’re opening for the Stone Temple Pilots….we’re not, but it does got that feel”. He then explains the pulling the record out of the hat as fans scream out their favorite Local H records, he asks a girl in the front what she wants to hear, she says “Pack Up The Cats”.. Then the hand goes in the hat- here it is, the moment of truth, what we’ve all been waiting three months to know: which one of their albums will they pull out? Okay hand inside the hat.. Here it comes….
Not that I’m upset, because I’m just happy to be here witnessing this great band- but as one member of the crowd screamed ” DO OVER!”, to which Scott told us after Ham Fisted was through, that: “We’ve toyed with the idea of rigging the hat, but you can’t rig the hat… It’s a slippery slope. First your rigging the hat.. next you’re fucking babies.. you know you don’t know where it’s going to end-you need to draw the line somewhere “..
First song they got into is “Feed”, and when they started it I thought to myself ‘okay, this is gonna rock harder than I thought’ because thanks to a 32 gig iPod touch- I have Local H’s entire discography on there- so I am unknowingly familiar with most of these songs- even though it’s their first record, and maybe a lesser known one. Tracks like”Manipulater” and “Grrlfriend” were crowd pleasers, and the latter, Scott played solo using Kinch’s keyboard that was left on stage.. and The two guitar players from Kinch were on stage a couple of time throughout the evening, providing backing guitar or lyrics or keyboards when needed., The entire night, I’m next to someone who obviously wants to hear a song called “F*ck Yeah, That Wide”, as he is screaming it all night and is an unwanted guest speaker on my videos I was taking.. I got some of the greatest video I ever got tonight-sound and view and not being harassed by event staff all night.. they had a film crew on hand and were filming right in front of me.. Watching the video as I give the final touches to this review at my house, these guys know how to ROCK-on some real deal type stuff… Why isn’t Local H a bigger band then they are? Why don’t people know them? Scott is playing a guitar and a bass at once! It has bass picks built in, with two chords leading out-one to the guitar amp, and one to the bass amp… and to be that loud.. it’s just mega awesome…. Ham Fisted was done around 9, maybe a little before-then they kicked it into overdrive…
They hit us with “All the Kids are Right” and quickly followed it with “All Right, Oh Yeah”. The intensity of the band seemed to have risen, as now the unpredictable can occur.. the audience got more recklessly into it, because now we all don’t know what’s coming next-this is feeling like a two part rock concert somehow and they never went off stage… Members of Kinch running on and off stage when they hear the first opening chords to whatever song it was .. the entire night the band was having a good time, which was good considering the facts at hand-we must clear out by 9:30.. but I look over and it’s like five past nine, so I’m camera in hand ready to rock for these next 25 minutes.. We got a sweet version of “California Songs”, with “Weezer” replacing “California Dreaming” in the lyric “The message is the same-it’s getting pretty lame/ California Dreaming’s on the radio”.. I just got my Weezer tickets, so take that Scott! When “Fritz’s Corner” came on, I went frickin’ bonkers.. probably the only video I have where I could not restrain from singing along. This is like the 10th time at least I’ve noticed during this set that this is incredible! I’m not getting cheated at all, as I thought I would be going in… Local H is killing it.. Brian is over there kicking the shit out of his drum kit in Grohlian fashion.. Scott comes off stage and steps onto the barricade and leans into the crowd while playing, it’s a really cool scene.. he looks down and takes a swig of the drink that one lucky girl happened to be holding… I got a great shot of it…The light show is even cool.. Scott also explained that “If it wasn’t for STP this show would have been canceled-I’m fucking serious”.. So if you read between the lines(no pun intended), this was the doing of LiveNation, and not STP.. Livenation looked around, and chose to try and fuck Local H, but, according to Scott “STP made this show happen”, so for that I am grateful.. because this is still going… here comes “Hands on the Bible” with one dude from Kinch on keys and another backing on guitar and this is just HEAVY.. . “Bound for the Floor” (casual fans think it’s called Copacetic), and I think they snuck another song in there in the middle of it, then ending back to Bound to the Floor.. Check my YouTube page-link somewhere in the sidebar-if anyone can confirm it for me that’d be awesome… then I knew it was over, I couldn’t believe they were going to play something after their biggest hit to date.. but they did.. “Wolf Like Me”!!! a TV on the Radio cover... a few weeks ago I really got into both bands versions of the song and I was dying to hear this one life… I screamed, honestly..I screamed with unbridled enthusiasm! Totally pumped trying to keep the camera straight while swinging my head back and forth and turning my head so I can try and scream the lyrics without being heard on the footage… it was unbelievable-rocked it for about 8 and a half minutes- and said goodnight.. and honestly, there was nothing more to be played as Scott put his guitar down and stepped over the barricade into the crowd and disappeared into that rainy city night as we were all being forced out due to time constraints..
LOCAL H delivers BIGTIME! What a show. You joking? They pulled out the album I would have last choose to be played and in returned they showed me a thing or two about what’s it’s like to be blown away-I’m blown… I don’t even know what just occurred…But on my way out I did see the dude with the envious pony tail; dude we ran into at the Hole show at Terminal 5 the first night, he was waiting in line to see STP… Small world…
All I’m saying is that there is a time and a place for the establishment rock and roll to show up and be all “big time”.. and that time is going to be this Sunday, where the Jay Porks Experience will roll into Camden, New Jersey for a huge outdoor show to kick off the 3rd annual Jay Porks Summer Concert Series with the aforementioned Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains, Three Days Grace, Fuel and more… So that’s where you’ll find me.. until then, thanks for taking the time.. LATE…..