Concert Review: Local H in Omaha, NE at The Waiting Room 9/19/12
Each band has a unique audience, sure a wide range of people go to their shows but you can easily stereotype an audience. Local H’s audience tend to seem like dumb jocks. There are exceptions of course (hopefully I am one) but most of their crowd plays the role of the cheap beer drinking simpleton.
Local H is a hard rock band; they are loud and abrasive. Lead singer Scott Lucas possesses a great screaming “singing” voice that many frontmen can’t pull off. Lucas always wants his vocals loud, every show has him asking the soundman for more vocals. This is necessary to fit in the barrage of guitar noise he puts out and the brain rattling pounding of the drums by his partner in noise on stage, Brian St. Clair. Lucas plays up party-jock role to fuel the audience as well. While the music of Local H may draw a crowd not interested in “smart” music; the bands music is actually quite good and well thought out. They did just release a double album profiling the political divide in America. Lucas encourages the crowd to scream along with him on such anthems as “California Songs” and “High-Fivin’ MF.” On these two songs in particular the crowd participation includes yelling the word “FUCK” in each song so it isn’t difficult to get a bunch of drunk people to want to do that.
All this explains why the audience is filled with people who care as much about the mosh pit as what is going on on the stage. The shenanigans in the mosh pit on this night would include but certainly not be limited to a long search for a shoe that came off, a broken bar glass on the floor right in middle of where the moshing took place and one bruiser dripping blood from his nose while eagerly awaiting the next moshing opportunity. Scott Lucas is always up something on stage and on this night his antics would include pouring water on his head then headbanging to throw water everywhere, singing while holding the mic in his mouth and playing guitar and at the end of the show crowd surfing his way off the stage.
As I paint a bad picture of the activities I must say it isn’t all bad. It can be a little fun, especially for the participants. Who it sucks for is the fans watching the rock show and the 95 pound girl that gets ran into at full speed by the 6’6″ 275 pound frat boy moshing nearby. The only way to avoid the pit is to not be close to the stage unfortunately, a sacrifice I am simply not willing to make.
Amazingly, during all of this there is a band on stage! On this night it was Local H and they played a pretty damn good rock show. They were one day removed from releasing their 7th full length album Hallelujah! I’m A Bum which is their most ambitious and hard rocking album to date.
The opening band was The Ambassadors. They are an electronic inspired band from New York. They had at times two keyboards and two drum sets going simultaneously. Their music was very keyboard filled (naturally) and ultimately not a good match for Local H with whom they are touring for the coming weeks. They sounded like a lost orphan in the land of bands like Phoenix, Foster The People, Fun and the non-Sam’s Town Killers. They had great energy and shockingly had a blind keyboard player. The lead singer’s tight tank-top and over the top gyrations to the songs drew little more than polite applause from the crowd that maintained it’s distance from the stage for the duration of their set.
Local H would take to the stage to a great reception from the eager audience that had waited 4 years for them to come back. Half of the bands set would be devoted to the new record. They would do 10 of the 19 songs that you can hear on Hallelujah! I’m A Bum. They would also hit on their anthems but not dive much into the deep cuts of their own catalog. The new record is solid; it rocks hard and is a collection of very good songs that translate extremely well live. The new songs were highlighted by “Another February” “Feed A Fever” and the encore performance of the surprisingly country-tinged “Look Who’s Walking On Four Legs Again.”
The anthems are often the same each night. “Bound For The Floor” always has the big sing-along and great crowd reaction. “Back In The Day” always gets the mosh pit going and “All The Kids Are Right” has the great start-stop-start finish that always ends just a little after you expect it to. “All The Kids Are Right” did possess the shocker of the night with Lucas singing the lyric “… and what the hell was wrong with Joe?” alluding to former drummer Joe Daniels who hasn’t been in the band for about 15 years now. Lucas changed the lyric in the song to “… and all the crew was gacked on blow” on every version I’ve heard until the Omaha show.
Again, the amazingly good record 12 Angry Months was completely overlooked by the band. Until Tuesday it was still the most recent release by the band and in the times seeing them live since the release of that album they have performed just one song from it. The merch table is always manned by Lucas himself and he had a very busy night in Omaha at that table. The new record was flying off the table as were the Republican red and Democrat blue t-shirts. The line seemingly had no end and had Lucas selling merch for easily 45 minutes to an hour immediately after the encore ended.
Local H in Omaha, NE at The Waiting Room 9/19/12 setlist:
- Cold Manor
- Blue Line
- Bound For The Floor
- They Saved Reagan’s Brain
- Here Come Ol’ Laptop
- Back In The Day
- Say The Word
- Feed A Fever
- Another February
- Alright (Oh Yeah)
- All The Kids Are Right
- Fritz’s Corner
- Hands On The Bible
- Waves (Again)
- encore break
- 2112 (Rush cover)
- California Songs
- Look Who’s Walking On Four Legs Again
- Hi-Fiving MF
Go visit LocalH.com and buy the new album Hallelujah! I’m A Bum now!