"Rock and Awe!"

Local H w/ Visqueen and Sullen Live at Graceland Seattle, Washington September 26, 2003

By Graham Isaac


"No, you shut up! SHUT THE FUCK UP! Do you have the microphone? Huh? No, I didn't think so. I'll play music whenever the hell I want." Many rock bands deal with hecklers, the drunk guy in the back that yells "shut up and play" whenever the singer pauses to say thank you or paycompliments to the venue. Most bands are pussies and take it, letting the drunks ruin the show for everyone. Not Local H's Scott Lucas, who dispatched one such audience member in the aforementioned fashion. At another point in the show Lucas responded to some particularly moronic dude-shouts with a "huh huh. Okay beavis."

This could easily turn any crowd sour were it not for the blistering performance turned in by Lucas and drummer Brian St. Claire. Huge riffs and thumping beats carried the night, complemented by midsong psychedelic flourishes courtesy of Lucas's many effects pedals. By the time the band got to signature hit "High Fiving Motherfucker" the 21+ crowd was rowdy like a bunch of teenagers and even more so when Lucas managed to fit Queens of the Stone Age's "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" into the bridge.

As a side note, next time this band comes to town, they should really play an all ages show. There were forlorn kids sitting on the sidewalk all night hoping for a chance to slip past security guards.

Throughout the night, Local H covered the bulk of their career, skipping their mid 90s radio hits in lieu of fan favorites "Hands on the Bible," "Fritz's Corner" and "Alright (Oh Yeah)." Lucas turned genuine on a couple of occasions, thanking the crowd for coming out and giving props to the Graceland, saying "They were the only ones who would have us."

St. Louis's Sullen hit the stage first with dueling male/female vocals that brought to mind Sonic Youth if Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore were less interested in mind expansion and more interested in head-bludgeoning. The crowd was won over to the point where when lead singer Shanna Kiel announced it was their last song someone shouted "five more!"

Local favorites Visqueen delivered a fine set of catchy, crunchy pop songs that had the audience (which included both the other bands on the bill) bobbing their heads. While their set wasn't as vitriolic as their showmates, they provided a nice shot of undiluted melody.

The show closed with Local H performing their remake of Primal Scream's "Kill all Hippies" (retitled "Fuck Yeah that Wide) and Lucas leading the crowd in a chant of "Motherfucking soul! Motherfucking soul!" As in, you've got the money, we've got the soul. And they did.