No frills, no over-the-top theatrics, no messing around. That’s exactly what you’d expect from a H2O show, and that’s exactly what you go with the H2O x Liquid Death Stream, Live at Toby’s House on February 26.
Kicking off with a short intro from frontman Toby Morse, welcoming fans into his home, and reiterating the excitement of playing a show for the first time in over a year (and much longer than that with Toby’s brother Todd), it was like the cathode rays had been infused with a strong dose of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude).
Fans got to take a look around Toby’s office, a room filled to the brim with memorabilia spanning H2O’s entire career. Whilst highlighting certain items, Toby – joined by bandmates, his son Max, and friends – shared anecdotes such as the origins of the band (involving punk icons Rancid!), and how they’ve always been influenced by West Coast melodic punk bands despite falling under the NYHC umbrella.
More tour stories were peppered in amongst the set, just so you could have a water break from your living room mosh pit. Guitarist Rusty Pistachio and bassist Adam Blake told the tale of stealing the tour bus and driving the band, 30 Seconds To Mars and The Used to Bam Margera’s house – much to the dismay of the tour manager. They also shared the story of their high-speed police chase in Wyoming, being held up by police with shotguns, and told they would either have to be taken in or pay the police off (bye-bye $600 of merch money).
Now for the set itself. The main reason we all bought tickets, to try and feel alive again. Playing from Toby’s garage, the full-set opened with hardcore kid mantra “One Life One Chance”. Even without a crowd or much space to stomp around, launching straight into “Everready” showed that the set would have enough energy to purvey a sense of what a H2O show is like for those that haven’t experienced it, and rekindle memories for those that have.
“Liberate”’s harmonic intro bled into the thunderous “ROOTS!, DON’T FORGET YOUR ROOTS” of “Family Tree, followed by old school jam “Spirit of ‘84”. “Sunday”, from 2008’s Nothing To Prove saw Max do the same spoken intro he did on the album back then, just to tug aggressively on your heartstrings and make you feel hella old.
Max joined the band again on “Nothing To Prove”, taking over from drummer Todd Friend for the track. He also lived up to his long-time nickname of Maxball, absolutely nailing Freddy Madball’s part in “Guilty By Association”.
The set closed with “1995”, an auditory embodiment of the community and belonging we all feel – and are missing greatly right now – when we’re getting sweaty and bruised at a rock show.
The Live at Toby’s House H2O stream, brought to us by Liquid Death Mountain Water, was enough to quench the thirst for live music, but nothing compares to the real thing.
Featured image courtesy of Liquid Death. God awful ‘live’ photos by Frankie Torok.