Cheers to the big New Year’s celebrations across Chicago! We spent ours as promised… following around Scott Lucas.
There was a line around the block when we arrived at Metro at 9pm. Scott Lucas and the Married Men came on at 9:15 sharp, and seemed fueled by the energy in the room, and the energy OF the room. With Local H, Scott Lucas played a Metro double-header in 1998, and I think his new band was pumped to end the year playing here.
In addition to their vocal harmonies, the Married Men create a luxurious, layered sound with accents of violin, organ and piano, and Aaron Duggins just whaled on accordion. These and Scott Lucas’s raw and urgent singing – especially on the closer “Ain’t No Grave” – moved the still bodies on the floor to nod in increasingly rocking agreement.
Towards the end of the set, Scott started to strum a familiar lick and sing, “Everybody had a hard year…” And with a nod to the Beatles (“I’ve Got A Feeling”), Scott Lucas and the Married Men bid farewell to the hard, good year we’re leaving behind, feeling hopeful about the future.
We left Metro, and rode our bikes over to Beat Kitchen – which was PACKED. We slinked into a spot along the wall just before midnight, and just in time for the Local H guys to pass us by and take the stage. As Brian St. Clair’s drumstick cracked its first beat, the body slammin’ began.
A rockin and sometimes raucous crowd kept the mosh pit going for nearly two solid hours. Only a couple times did I catch myself playing peacekeeper and protecting the waitress and her PBRs.
Seeing Local H is inevitably fun for a rock fan. Like a kid in a candy shop… more like a teenager at a Nirvana concert… I was fist pumping and singing along to “Bound For The Floor”, happy with my NYE show-going.