Chicago’s hometown heroes, Local H, plays As Good As Dead in its entirety on the first sold-out night of two-night homestand.

Friday night at Chicago’s legendary Metro belonged to Local H and their many fans. The anticipation to see the band was evident among the fans who waited in a line that snaked down the block and around the corner. Those who had been lucky enough to have one of the sold out tickets for this first of the two-night homestand filled The Metro quickly.

Two full drum kits sat up front at either end of the blue-lit stage. It is time for Local H. Ryan Harding takes his place behind the skins at one end of the stage. Scott Lucas walked to center stage and activated his guitar pedals which emitted a wall of static; it was a less than subtle omen that things were going to get loud. The band unleashed a tidal wave of catchy, hard-hitting, anthemic punk which was surprising coming from just two players.

Local H focused on songs from Hey, Killer, their most recent album as well as some of their other six albums. The highlights during the first set included “City of Knives,” “John The Baptist Blues.” The standout song was their classic, “California Songs.” This anthem is a nod to Midwest survival and their rejection of West Coast superficiality. The crowds stepped up their singing a couple of notches for this one.

After a brief intermission was the moment many in the crowd had waited. Joe Daniels, the original drummer and founding member, took the stage. His entrance was both generous and triumphant, as he shook hands with the crowd. It was clear by the look on fan’s faces that Joe was home. The band came back together tonight to celebrate their classic of 90s grunge-tinged punk As Good As Dead album.

They played their familiar anthems with a ferocity soon matched by the dancing and crowd surfing taking place on the floor. The spirit in the crowd was a good one, full of big smiles and dancing as people grooved along to the music. The band played the 12 songs from As Good As Dead in its entirety.

This original lineup proved that after 16 years, they could still produce magic. Their older material, though being a decade-plus old, still played well and sounded great. There is a journeyman quality their early albums that have lost none of their catchiness or potency over time. Some of the standouts of this set were “Eddie Vedder,” “High Fiving M.F.,” “Bound for the Floor,” and “Nothing Special.”

The crowd filed out of the Metro after the show knowing Local H left it all on the stage during this night of special performances.

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