The Reverend Horton Heat | 04.10.14

ReverendHortonHeat 75The crowd was left spent, and wanting more.

ReverendHortonHeat 500

Plush, St. Louis

Touring in support of their latest album, Rev, The Reverend Horton Heat brought their psychobilly decadence to St. Louis on Thursday night. Playing to a small but fevered crowd, Jim Heath and his cohorts unleashed songs from their newest release, as well as crowd favorites and a cover tune or two. Opening with “Victory Lap,” a high-strung instrumental with a surfer feel, the three-piece band was in fine form. Raw and stripped down, this band simply lets the music do the talking. No fancy lightshows or pyrotechnics here: just good, old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll with a psycho-punk edge.

Musically, Reverend Horton Heat is quite good. Lead singer and guitarist Heath is a master of the rockabilly guitar style, and watching him smile as he plays is a treat. Bassist Jimbo Wallace and drummer Scott Churilla keep a pounding rythym going, embraced by a punk-like looseness. These guys love what they do, and it shows.

New tracks such as “Smell of Gasoline,” “Zombie Dumb,” and the first single, “Let Me Teach You How to Eat,” come across very well live. Though the crowd was high energy, the band seemed subdued. More somber songs like the new “Scenery Going By” were welcomed, yet is was classics like “Psychobilly Freakout” that made the crowd roar. The band even paid homage to St. Louis’s Chuck Berry with a fun rendition of his classic hit “Johnny B. Goode.”

Joining the band on stage, guitarist/vocalist Deke Dickerson played his own brand of rockabilly, with the band backing him. The crowd loved it, making Dickerson feel welcome with its roar. The two-hour set included a nice combination of the old and the new. Songs including “Never Gonna Stop It” and “Jimbo Song” (“J-I-M-B-O!!!”) blasted the audience with psychobilly rage. The crowd was left spent, and wanting more.

Opening the show was Nekromantix, who brought their gothic rockabilly to the stage. Originally from Denmark, they now hail from Los Angeles and were the perfect complement to Reverend Horton Heat. A great show in a nice venue. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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