I know I’ve only written a few reviews and one of them was a Local H review, but I just have to do another one after catching them in New York. This was a big trip for me for three reasons. One, I had never been to New York and it was on my bucket list of things to do before I turn 40 (which is funny because I’m only 3-4 hours away). Two, this was one of the last shows that Brian would be playing with Local H. They weren’t coming to the Maryland area which is why I had to go New York to catch them. Three, I got to meet a fellow concert confessions writer in person – Jay!
So, I put out an invite to all my friends and two of them bit: Dana and Bob. Dana had her Local H cherry popped a year ago when I took her to her first Local H show, but Bob had never seen them before. He’s a big music nerd like the rest of us so I was really excited for him to FINALLY be able to see Local H. I’ve been trying for years to get him to come to one of their shows and have always failed in my attempts.
It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon, a little after 11:00 and we all meet up at Dana’s house and I was the volunteer driver so we hopped in my car and took off. The three hour drive seemed to just fly by and it was close to 3:00 by the time we drove through the Lincoln Tunnel. After crossing through to the other side, I was immediately met with traffic, pedestrians, and car horns blowing every single second. We found our hotel (right in the heart of the city) with no problems but parking was a pain as we drove around, trying to figure out where to park. During our 20 minute parking excursion, I’m sure I heard 1 million car horns blowing and came close to hitting at least 300 pedestrians….soooo this is what NYC is like? Got it! I decided to give my car horn a try for no reason at all!
We finally found a spot to park my car. It was street parking and we didn’t have to pay and it was right around the corner from our hotel! Score! My car stayed in that spot until we left the following evening. After checking in our little crappy hotel that cost an arm and leg, we got out and checked out Time Square. The only thing I can say is: Wow! There were so many people, so much to see, and walking was the best way to do it because you really got to take it all in. Around 5:00 or so, we stopped in Planet Hollywood to have some dinner and that’s where Jay met up with us. It was cool to meet another cool person that I had only known online. I was hoping he was going to hit up the Local H show so maybe we could have done a duel review but he had a special invite to go see Soul Asylum and you can check out his review on our page! After we finished our chatting, we all left together and parted ways at the subway; and Jay was a big help in making sure we were going in the right direction and hooking us up with a subway card!
When we arrived at Santo’s Party House, there were two lines outside the club and we quickly learned that Eye Empire was playing at the same place. There are two stages in this building which I had no idea. The line for Local H was about 50-75 people deep already and we found our spot at the end of the line. The doors were supposed to open at 6:30 but it was after 7:00 by the time they opened up. I was anxious for this show for a couple of reasons. I wanted to see what it was like to see Local H in a totally different state than what I usually do, I was curious to find out if the crowd would be the same or not, and I couldn’t wait to see if they played “California songs” because of the “…and fuck New York too” line.
When we entered the club, it wasn’t much different than the clubs here in Maryland. It had two bars, wasn’t too big, and had a big disco ball on the ceiling. It was a nice little club. It didn’t take long for the opening band to start. They were a band from Chicago named “Monkey Paw.” I had never heard of them but they were pretty good and did a good job warming me up for Local H. They were a 3 piece band that had some similar sounds to Local H but also had some jam type sounds in there too. I felt like they sounded great live but wouldn’t be all that great on a CD or listening to them on the radio. They were good though and worth checking out if ever given the chance.
Once Monkey Paw finished up, it didn’t take long for Local H to hit the stage. I was surprised at how early they were going on and that they were done playing by 10:00. Bob found out that they do a dance party at the club so that’s why the show was so early…which worked out well for us because we got more play time in the city!
Local H opened up with “Terrible Love” and they proceeded to rip through song after song with a nice mix of both old songs as well as new. What I noticed about the crowd was that it wasn’t much different than the Maryland area crowds. You had your hard-core Local H fans in the front, singing every single lyric to every single song, you had the drunk guys in the front who were too big, old, and drunk to be up close as they invaded everyone’s personal space because it was “their world and no one else’s,” and you had the entire crowd singing along to the well- known songs. What caught me off guard was that I saw a dude there that I see at ALL the Local H shows in the DC area. I’ve spoken to him once or twice before and while I can’t remember his name, I do remember him telling me he follows Local H around a lot, taking pictures, and Scott knows him by name…or he may have just been trying to make himself look good. He’s a male groupie either way!
It was surreal seeing Local H in New York City. For some reason, to me, it seemed more “professional” or more solid than their shows are in DC. They still sounded just as great and still put on just as awesome of a show as always, but it seemed more “big-time.” However, that could have just been all on me since I had never been to NYC before and it seemed very big and busy to me. I also seemed to be the only one amused when they did play “California Songs” and they did sing “and fuck New York too.” It made me laugh, but it doesn’t take much to amuse me. No one else seemed to think anything of it…oh well! One thing I noticed was that Scott didn’t talk to the crowd in NYC as much as he usually does in DC. He did talk to the NYC crowd but he seems more laid back at the DC shows.
Towards the end of the show, Scott informed the audience that they were there for two reasons. One was to make up the show there that they had to cancel when Scott got choked in Russia and the second reason was to say good-bye to Brian. After he said that, the crowd went into a cheer for Brian that seemed like it lasted forever but it was only a few minutes. As the crowd was cheering for Brian, his back was turned as it usually is during the breaks between songs but after a minute, he actually turned around and waved at the crowd and said thank you. Scott made the comment that he’s NEVER seen Brian do that…EVER! So I guess New York gave Brian some good vibes on this night! Here is my video of that:
After they were done, Scott did his crowd surfing over to the merchandise table like he always does and a line quickly formed with pretty much everyone in the place so we could buy some things and chat with Scott. I was disappointed that Brian didn’t hang out; he usually doesn’t but it would have been nice if he did so we all could have said good-bye to him. I bought another Local H shirt (not that I really need anymore) and Dana bought one as well, but she was having trouble figuring out which size to buy. Scott told her, in a very feminine voice, that he understood her female troubles and proceeded to take the next few minutes and help her decide which size to get. After she picked her size, she also told him she wanted a CD in which case he yelled, “Oh Shit!” I thought he was going to say that he was all out, but no…he had said that because, he said, “he had to make himself be a man again!” I can’t make this shit up!!
Overall the show was killer and I’m glad I took the trip up there to see Brian perform one last time with Local H. He was such a great fit with Scott and the music that is Local H that I don’t know how Scott is ever going to replace him. I’m going to miss looking over and seeing Brian whaling away on those drums, looking like “Animal” from The Muppets and not missing a beat. I have a couple of his drums sticks though!!
Going back to the drunken dudes in front of me, when Local H started playing “Fritz’s Corner” they went nuts and had their own private mosh pit. They scared Dana and Bob off to the side of the stage but I stood my ground and my short video of that song clearly shows me being shoved right before I decide to stop the video in fear of dropping the camera. Check it out:
Dana enjoyed her second Local H show and Bob, commented that they were really good! As for me, I’m crossing my fingers that Scott doesn’t take too long to get Local H back out on the road; as I’ve said before: a life without live Local H shows is a life I NEVER want to experience. Just for the hell of it, here is a picture of me with Brian and Scott that I took back in 2008 when they were doing an acoustic performance in a music shop:
One odd thing about this show was that they didn’t do “bound for the floor” and “high-fiving mother fucker.” Scott did say that Brian pretty much came up with the set list so I guess Brian was all floored and mother fuckered out!
The set list for this night was:
Heaven on the Way Down
They Saved Reagan’s Brain
The one with Kid
Fine and Good
Hands on the Bible
All-Right (Oh, Yeah)
All the Kids are Right
What Would You Have Me Do?
Wolf Like Me