Reverend Horton Heat is the little band from Texas that almost seems as if it should not exist. It is the self-proclaimed Rockabilly band that got its break on a grunge label, Sub Pop, and is currently signed on a metal label, Victory Records.
First formed in 1985, Reverend Horton Heat keeps coming back for more and the fans keep demanding even more from the band. The band took the stage at the legendary First Ave in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to convert even more fans and provide further thrills to it faithful congregation with yet another concert of its greatest hits.
Reverend Horton Heat took to the stage and immediately launched into the instrumental “Big Sky.” The song was a great way to kick off the set as it eased the crowd in band’s music while setting the tone for the rest of the evening. The smooth guitar blended seamlessly with the slap bass to fill First Ave with the Reverend’s unique Rockabilly sound. The band transitioned into “The Baddest of the Bad” without a hitch before progressing into “Psychobilly Freakout.” These three songs, which are dominated by instrumentals with scant lyrics mostly in “The Baddest of the Bad,” set the tone for the rest of the show.
The crowd was dancing by the end of the opening trio of songs when the music stopped for the first time before transitioning into the next wave of sound.
The feel-good vibe lasted throughout the show. The band grooved along for a couple more songs before the music stopped and the first story of the night was told. The lead singer, Jim Heath, calmly recounted a tale from the early years of the band that led to the band signing its first record deal. The band then launched into the raucous “Jimbo Song” to celebrate the star of the story, bassist Jimbo Wallace.
It has become a tradition for the band to have a musical guest join them and this tour that guest is pianist Matt Jordan. Jordan and his huge purple top hat joined the band for several songs, including a cover of his song “The 2:30 Blues,” before leaving the stage and letting Reverend Horton Heat finish its set with a flurry. The highlight came with the last song of the main set as the band performed a cover version of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.” It was then a brief break before an encore that included an energetic drum solo as well as the band’s biggest hit, “It’s Martini Time,” and a strong cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”
Reverend Horton Heat, led by Jim and Jimbo, has been around for over 20 years and never to deliver. The energy of the music filled First Ave from the first chord and only stopped for one of the stories told by Jim Heath. These stories gave the performance an intimate feel to the show by giving the fans a glance at the band’s history. The energy of Jimbo’s slap bass provided a strong counter to Heath’s slick guitar to create the perfect environment for dancing.
A Reverend Horton Heat concert transports the crowd to a place in which one can imagine enjoying an evening of music around a bonfire with friends. It is an event that is not to be missed and this Tuesday night was no exception. The crowd was in the hands of a master for the 90 minute set and loving every second of the experience.