Never judge a book by its cover. That’s what we teach our kids, right? Well, sometimes we need to take our own advice. I attended a LOCASH show last weekend at Paradise Cove inside the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, OK and I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t expect to love it. Don’t get me wrong, I really like their music, and their song “I Love This Life” has become my theme song, but I just didn’t expect to like them live. Maybe it was the tennis shoes, backwards ball caps and tattoos, but I had a preconceived notion that they might be the kind of country artist who walks around on stage trying too hard to be gangster. While there isn’t anything wrong with that style, It’s just not my cup of tea. Boy, was I wrong!
From the moment they stepped on stage, the duo, made up of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust, were absolutely captivating. Right out of the gate they got the crowd involved singing the “oh oh” parts of “Ain’t Startin’ Tonight” and after that, it was nothing but fun for the next hour and a half. They played “You Gonna Fly,” the first No. 1 song they wrote for Keith Urban, “All Day,” a new song from their album The Fighters, and their own No.1 hit “I Know Somebody.” They were entertaining on stage, sounded great, and the crowd was enjoying it.
The real fun started with “Drunk Drunk,” a song they admitted to writing when they were “hammered.” As you might expect, Preston Brust grabbed a drink from someone in the crowd, carried it around and chugged it down at the end. Now, this wasn’t a little cup of beer, it was a huge hurricane glass. After the song, he apologized to the lady for taking her drink and joked she should go get another, and maybe bring back enough for him. He suggested that while she was at it, she should bring enough for the whole band too. About 10 minutes later she returned with a drink for both singers. But it didn’t stop there. After accepting the new drinks, out came the beverage crew from the casino on stage with full hurricane glasses for each band member. At this point, Preston Lucas had two drinks, and the audience started yelling “Chug! Chug! Chug!” The glasses provided liquid nourishment for them throughout the rest of the evening.
After their current single “Ring on Every Finger” and “Truck Yeah,” the top 10 hit they wrote with Chris Janson for Tim McGraw, came the most interesting band introductions I have ever seen. They started off with a cover of ZZ Top’s “Tush” and then each band member took turns showing off their talent. In addition to the traditional guitar and drum solos, Preston Brust hopped into the crowd and found audience members to decide whether each band member was to stay or go – American Idol style. While each solo was happening, he wandered through the crowd, stood on the seats, and found an empty seat and took selfies with whoever wanted one, while Chris Lucas, who is a fantastic dancer, was showing off his moves at the side of the stage. The solos were pretty incredible too. The guitarist, a Tulsa native, performed his solo while drinking from two hurricane glasses and drummer Harry Miree, who had only just started touring with the band that week, impressed the crowd and won the approval “he’s a keeper” from the audience member judge.
Perhaps the most extraordinary part of the night came when they sang the title track to their album “The Fighters.” They started off by dedicating it to all the current and past military personnel. You can tell by the speech they made that the men and women of the armed forces hold a special place in their hearts. As the song began, a young man dressed in fatigues came up through the crowd and was brought on stage. As they sang, he was so moved by them that he pulled off two patches from his sleeves and gave them each one. Once it ended, the crowd chanted “USA! USA!” The emotional roller coaster continued as they talked with the soldier, whose name was Jesse, and asked him which song he wanted to hear. He chose “I Love This Life,” so they obliged. But instead of him leaving, they made him stay on stage and on a whim Preston Brust gave him his guitar as a thank you and sang the chorus with him, sharing a microphone. There could not have been a more perfect ending to the evening.
LOCASH truly knows how to entertain a crowd. Some may say they talked too much, but I think it was a perfect mix of music and dialogue. They are very funny and can use that to win over someone like me that wasn’t so sure what to expect when I walked in the door. You can tell that it is not scripted and that, to me, makes it so great. You get a different and personalized show every night. The songs may be the same and their harmonies are spot on, but if that’s all you want, download their album or buy their CD. If you want an experience that makes your cheeks hurt because you smiled for so long, then go see their live show. Thank you LOCASH for proving me wrong. I went from liking your music to becoming a super fan that will make it a point to never miss another show in my area again.