Reverend Horton Heat came home to Dallas, Texas to play an electrifying concert in front of a legion of fans.
When local legends play their hometown, they typically pack the house with friends, loyal listeners, and would-be fans, the latter of which often leave the venue wondering why they didn’t jump on the band’s bandwagon much sooner. This scenario played itself recently when Reverend Horton Heat brought their unique brand of psychobilly to the Gas Monkey Live stage in Dallas.
Many of the band’s long time fans came appropriately dressed for the occasion with a large number of males in attendance donning traditional black leather jackets while a host of females showed off their best 50s era poodle skirts.
As crowd tensions built to a palpable level, a deafening roar bellowed and spread out from the bowels of the audience as the threesome that unites to form Reverend Horton Heat strolled onto the stage and immediately ripped into their instrumental “Big Sky,” a track which the band traditionally opens most shows.
Vocalist and guitarist Jim Heath worked the crowd into a sweat-inducing frenzy on “Baddest Of The Bad” as Jimbo Wallace slapped his upright bass as fast as his hands could move. The audience matched the intensity on stage while clamoring for one of the band’s most recognizable hits, “Psychobilly Freakout.” An impromptu crowd sing-a-long follows aided in part by the driving beats of drummer Scott Churilla.
Reverend Horton Heat acquiesced to the purists by choosing to cover “The School Of Rock And Roll” by one of Dallas’ own Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductees, Gene Summers. The band’s homage segued neatly into multiple tracks infused with sublime guitar solos and then capped by the monster movie beats of “Zombie Drunk.”
The chemistry amongst the band members was evident, their camaraderie shining the brightest on songs such as “The Devil Chasing Me,” “Jimbo Song,” and “Little Queenie,” during which Wallace and Heath traded instruments.
Tim Alexander, the band’s touring piano and keyboard player since 1996, eventually made it to the lighted stage with his trademark accordion in tow for a few songs. One track is possibly recognized as the most mainstream of Reverend Horton Heat’s material, “In Your Widest Dreams,” a song which has made its way onto more than a few movie and TV show soundtracks.
Slam dancing ensued in the general admission area as Heath worked the crowd into a frenzy with the fast-paced fan favorite, “Galaxy 500,” following “Let Me Teach You How To Eat,” and “400 Bucks.” The band wrapped the set with a jam session that included Heath’s blistering solo in “Victory Lap,” and by Wallace’s bass slap-fest in “Smell Of Gasoline,” which included an interlude of “Folsom Prison Blues.”
At the conclusion of the band’s blistering 21-song set list, Heath shared the story of how they would play with the recently deceased Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead whenever possible, to which the audience shrieked with delight at the mention of the rock icon’s name. This brief anecdote was immediately followed by what would turn out to be the final sonic salvo of the night, a resplendent cover of the Motörhead staple, “Ace Of Spades.”
Reverend Horton Heat starts a new tour on February 15.
Opening the show was the California-based punkabilly outfit, Throw Rag. The band’s 15-song set list provided those in attendance with an eclectic mix of surf rock, country, and punk. Lead singer Captain Sean Doe’s antics onstage proved mesmerizing. His performance was reminiscent of David Lee Roth from Van Halen due to his fervent energy, kooky facial expressions, and body bending gyrations.
Event Date: 27-Jan-2017