Local H: Resilience and Class31st March 2013 • 6 comments
Last night saw yet another Local H concert in Chicagoland. For a band that tours constantly and consistently, this wouldn’t normally be anything more than another stellar performance by the duo.
This show was different, though. It was the first gig after singer Scott Lucas’ brutal mugging in Russia. While the members of Local H, Lucas and drummer Brian St.Clair, are not the type of band to inundate the public with their private goings on, this situation was unlike any they’d found themselves in before. It lead to cancelling shows, and that’s not something Local H is wont to do. Recently on the band’s official Facebook page, Mr. Lucas wrote a letter to fans explaining what happened and apologising for the cancellations.
First Morrissey, then Animal Collective, and now this……After weighing all of our options, it looks like we’re going to have to cancel the first 3 dates of the Local H tour – that’s March 21, 22, and 23. We don’t take this decision lightly and we’re deeply sorry for it.
Here’s what happened : A month ago, after a date in Moscow, I was assaulted and robbed. The attacker came up from behind and put me in a chokehold until I passed out. When I came to, I was in a stairwell with all of my pockets empty. No phone, no wallet, no cash, and (worst of all) no passport. Nothing. Even my hat and glasses were gone. It wasn’t until I found someone to ask for help that I realized something else was gone – my voice. When I opened my mouth to ask that person to call me a taxi, nothing but a scratchy croak would come out. I touched my throat and could feel that more damage had been done than I initially thought. A purple bruise began to form. I was having trouble swallowing. Russia………..
When I got back to the states, I just figured that resting my voice and taking it easy would allow everything to return to normal. I’d lost my voice before and I knew the drill : shut the fuck up (basically). But it soon became apparent that this time my voice wasn’t going to just heal itself and I had to see someone. The folks at MusiCares hooked me up with a voice doctor who found that one of my vocal cords had been damaged. How badly damaged, we’re not sure yet – we need a second opinion. But the doctor said if they had to go in and POP(!) the cord back into place, then we have a limited window for that until the damage becomes permanent.
Which means there’s really no way I could make the show in Grand Rapids without worrying about the long term effects – never mind the fact that my voice would totally suck. We feel horrible about this. As some of you out there may already know – we don’t believe in canceling shows (and in reference to the above : if you somehow happen to be a fan of Morrissey, Animal Collective, AND us – then we’re truly sorry to be piling on). So, yes – this fucking blows. But please believe that we’re doing everything we can to correct this situation and to make sure we don’t miss any more dates than absolutely necessary. Please stay tuned and we’ll keep you up to date.
Again – we’re so sorry.
Scott from Local H
This is a man who is often known more for his sardonic and dry sense of humour as much as he is for his music. To read those words, written by him, was heartbreaking. The entire situation is heartbreaking.
But…they’re Local H; they don’t stop, and they certainly never quit.
While initially placed in the post-grunge shadows of Nirvana and the like, Local H have grown and evolved more than anyone ever thought they would, and more than many people realise they have.
They’re not the guys who sang that ‘Copacetic‘ song, anymore; they’re the masters of reinvention and kings of the concept album. They’re also the guys who tour constantly, always keep their fans engaged, and genuinely seem to appreciate their storied career.
Not knowing the extent of the vocal cord damage and how permanent it may or may not be would be terrifying for anyone. As a singer and a man who earns his living on his voice, it must have been especially so.
That said, last night at the show, you would never have known what Lucas had been through. His voice, while a bit more gravelly than usual, was still spot on and someone unaware of his vocal cord injury would have probably just chalked it up to singing too much.
The show was as high energy as is the norm for Local H, and the crowd was especially amped up, cheering and applauding the band even more than usual, every bit of it well deserved.
While Scott Lucas may be one of the most underrated songwriters of the past twenty years, he remains very matter-of-fact in his presentation. The band always put up and take down their own gear and chat with fans before and after the shows, making them seem very real and approachable to their fan base. This ethos probably pays a substantial part in why the band have such a loyal, if not rabid, following.
People don’t like Local H, they love them. The music shows growth with each new album and Scott Lucas and Brian St.Clair prove repeatedly that they’re serious about their career, no matter what happens.
It is worth mentioning that Mr. Lucas has stated on several occasions that MusiCares has played an integral part in his treatment and recovery.
An adjunct part of the Grammy organisation, MusiCares exists to aid musicians when they need it most. Be it financial assistance or medical, the agency offers musicians, who are often uninsured, resources to seek medical treatment and assist in any emergencies they may face.
To find out more about the amazing work they do or make a donation, go here
Some of the most significant people in my life I know because of this band. Literally.
I could not be sorrier that this has happened but am so glad that Scott is on the road to recovery.
The band is now on tour, officially; be sure to catch them in your city!
Apr 04 The Waiting Room Omaha, NE
Apr 05 Bluebird Theatre Denver, CO
Apr 06 Launchpad Albuquerque, NM
Apr 08 Club Congress Tucson, AZ
Apr 09 Soda Bar San Diego, CA
Apr 10 The Satellite Los Angeles, CA
Apr 14 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA
Apr 16 Hawthorne Theatre Portland, OR
Apr 17 Chop Suey Seattle, WA
Apr 18 The Top Hat Missoula, MT
Apr 19 Railyard Ale House Billings, MT