Local H Rocks Philly

Featured Image: David De Cristofaro 

On Friday evening May 6th in Philly, Local H took the stage at Underground Arts before a packed crowd for a much anticipated and unique tour stop. All around the venue the venue familiar faces and regular patrons of the Philadelphia rock scene could be spotted as front man Scott Lucas took the stage along with the newest man to sit behind the drum kit of the dynamic musical duo, the talented Ryan Harding. The stage itself had a different look than the band’s past tours in that it sported two drum sets, one flanking either side of the stage, both with matching drum heads on the Kick to pair with a giant banner hanging behind the stage plot, all three sporting the cover art to the 1996 hit record As Good As Dead to commemorate the significance of the tour in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the album’s release.

Lucas and Harding tore through an initial set that saw a string of new tunes from their recently released album entitled Hey Killer, alongside classic Local H songs like “Half-Life” and “Creature Comforted” from Here Comes The Zoo, “The One With ‘Kid’” off 12 Angry Months and the crowd-participant “California Songs” from Whatever Happened To PJ Soles?… Following a break between sets, Lucas re-emerged with a familiar face in founding member and original drummer Joe Daniels, who had left the band in 1999, replaced by Triple Fast Action and then long time Local H drummer Brian St. Clair. Joe settled in to the raucous cheers of the crowd and took his kit to task, ripping through the songs from As Good As Dead in tandem with Scott as if he’d never missed a beat. The two men who first began playing together in Zion, Illinois back in 1987 brought their music alive in a new way together as they made their way through the album. One of my favorite drummers of all time, Daniels hits the kit remarkably hard and broke more sticks then I have ever seen in my life.

The crowd frequently chanted Daniels name and Lucas subtly but surely employed a number of gear and amp effects like a gritty yet eloquent Mid-Western mad scientist. Growing up in the Boston music scene, I used to go to Cambridge and Boston University to watch the St. Clair era band turn in memorable performances at the Middle East Club and Paradise Rock Club, respectively. Memories at the Middle East include everything from Lucas performing an entire show in a gorilla costume on Halloween to scaling the stage-right stack while playing guitar only to walk all the way down the bar and back over the stack to the stage, never breaking his play, and those examples are just the tip of the iceberg. You always get your money’s worth at a Local H show with what they leave out on stage night after night. I could recant a number of memorable shows including St. Clair’s final stop in the area at The Note in Westchester, PA… And Daniels return has powerfully taken its place among them.

Lucas turned in a vintage performance of the brand of heavy and hard hitting hooks and catchy lyrics for which he is known for, Local H’s music carries a powerfully intrepid sound reminiscent of legendary rock acts such as AC/DC, Iggy Pop and Cheap Trick. Following the AGAD set, the original duo returned with Harding to treat fans to a dual-drummer encore set of songs from the Daniels era hit Pack Up The Cats, which featured crowd-favorites “All Right (Oh Yeah)”, “’Cha!’ Said The Kitty”, “All The Kids Are Right” and “Cool Magnet”. Watching from alongside the stage next to Daniels was surreal as a longtime fan dating back to the release of As Good As Dead in the mid 1990’s, the show in Philly was made even more special given the band’s history of great shows in the area at the Khyber and North Star Bar and in sharing the amazing performance with friends and fellow fans whom I’ve rocked out alongside and shared in these great experiences with at each of these incredible shows that Lucas and company have turned in here in Philadelphia!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.