“Reverend Horton Heat” have spent the last two years on the road relentlessly promoting their 11th studio release “REV” (Victory Records), with September 23rd’s stop at Milwaukee’s Miramar Theater marking their 4th WI stop in less than an year.
Though billed as the headliners, guitarist Jim Heath, bassist Jimbo Wallace and drummer Scott Churilla opted to take the middle slot on a triple bill that also featured openers “The Creepshow” and the confetti-fueled, harlequin-meets-A Clockwork Orange antics of English punk rockers “The Adicts.”
23 September 2015 – Mirimar Theater, Milwaukee, WI. Rverend Horton Heat by Dave Burke for 10 Wire Up, http://10wireup.com
Full photo gallery below.
With their blend of frenetic punk energy, reverb drenched guitars, swing rhythms and 50’s inspired slap bass the Texas trio tore through their near two-hour set pulling heavily from “REV” mixing in a couple classic covers and fan favorites that spanned their 25 year career.
Things got off to a fast start with “REV’s” instrumental opener “Victory Lap” and its companion “The Smell of Gasoline” before the band brought out their signature and genre-defining, “Psychobilly Freak Out.” The small but enthusiastic crowd gathered at the foot of the stage respond just as well to the new material as the tried and true deep cuts.
Heath’s lighthearted and self deprecating stage banter kept things light and the crowd smiling as he picked out his blazing yet clean solos over Wallace and Churilla’s chugging rhythms.
In a choreographed highlight of the show each night Heath and Wallace swapped instruments for a blistering version of what Heath referred to as “the most obvious cover in rock n roll,” Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode.”
Staying with the familiar, the band carried on with the Johnny Cash classic “Big River,” dedicated to “the girl in the front row in the pink Johnny Cash t-shirt.” Other highlights from the groups own catalog included “The Devil’s Chasing Me,” “Zombie Dumb,” “Bales of Cocaine,” “Big Red Rocket of Love,” and Wallace’s theme, “Jimbo Song,” with its shout-along chorus of “J-I-M-B-O.” Closing the set was Heath’s galloping ode to divorce “Galaxy 500.”
As always, Reverend Horton Heat delivers a stripped-down and timeless sound rooted in the very beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll and country music. It’s a tried-and-true formula that never feels dated or stale and always delivers a night of high-octane fun.
With shows booked out into March, R.H.H will be making their way up and down the west coast for the next several months. Head over to reverendhortonheat.com for info and tour dates.
Article and photos by Dave Burke for 10 Wire Up. ©2015 Dave Burke, all rights reserved.
“I’m obsessed with music – it’s a huge part of who I am. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents’ records. In addition to music, the best bands always had great imagery to go with it. It’s the combination of those that led me to concert photography. “My goal is to not only bring myself closer to the music I love but to share it and hopefully inspire others the way I’ve been inspired.” –Dave Burke, 2015