Reverend Horton Heat Concert Review

Reverend Horton Heat

Liberty Lunch, Austin, TX, October 16, 1998
By John Wetzler (

Well, it's been a week since I saw the good Reverend, and I've had ample
time to reflect upon the experience.  And let me say that the opinions
expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the band, the Big
Dwarf Rodeo, or its affiliates.

The opening band for the show was decent.  An odd mix of metal and Willie
Nelson.  Probably the greatest part of their set was that the singer/lead
guitarist would go into these introductory ballads, with the rest of the
band just standing there, staring at him, like "What the hell are you
doing?"  But he did lead the crowd in a big "halleluhja."

Then, about 11:00, the guys took the stage.  Where was I?  Front row,
center.  The only place to be!  As usual, they opened with
"Big Sky/Baddest of the Bad," followed by "One Time for Me" and "Five-O
Ford."  I don't really remember much of the order for the rest of the
list, but it included Lie Detector, Bales of Cocaine, Big Little Baby,
Nurture my Pig, 400 Bucks, Big Red Rocket of Love, Jimbo Song, Martini
Time, Can't Surf, Bad Reputation, Devil's Chasing Me, and Psychobilly
Freakout.  Their set totalled just over an hour and a half.

Jimbo must have been particularly tired that night, because he laid down
that bass not once but twice.  Even sat on it while playing it.  Quite
impressive.  And there was a rather odd spot when the Rev. played the
guitar with his groin.  Very odd, and VERY disturbing...

At one point, Jim told the crowd we could discuss the differences between
Austin and Dallas.  The crowd was adamant that Dallas sucked, though the
Rev. mentioned all the big shiny buildings in Dallas where you could see
your reflection, and the shopping district.

Later on, he came back to the subject, offering a free Shiner Bock to
anyone who could think of one good thing about Dallas.  After a bit, he
decided that Dallas did suck, and gave the beer out to somebody to my

He also discussed the proliferation of swing music, and how bands like the
Brian Setzer Orchestra (whom I greatly dislike) gained rapid popularity.
Then he asked "Where the hell was Brian Setzer in the 80's?"

For the encore, they played two songs (and damned if I know which ones),
and handled all of the band introductions.  After introducting "the man
most likely to subscribe to Hustler Magazine" Scott Churilla, Scott went
into a frenzied drum solo.  Allow me to reiterate that Scott is the
undisputed king of the drums.  And that night, he didn't disappoint.  

At his lead-in, nature-boy Jimbo played his own little solo.  I'd like to
say that I tried following his hands as they slapped that bass, and I had
a tough time doing so.  

Then Jimbo took the mic and gave Jim Heath his own intro, to which the
good Rev. got this mock-surprised look, and picked up a toy laser-gun,
which lit up when he pulled the trigger, and half-played his guitar with
it.  However, it didn't appear to be entirely successful, so he dumped it.

After the show, my friends and I (who ARE insane) stuck around, and got to
meet both Scott and Jimbo.  I didn't have much chance to talk with Scott,
since he wanted to hit the bar before it closed.  But we did talk with

Jimbo for a few minutes.  He's just the nicest guy you'd ever want to
meet.  Extremely friendly.  We got some autographs from him, and he
offered to get Jim and Scott's autographs, but they mysteriously vanished.
But we got Jimbo's, and he's the important one, right?

All in all, I'd have to say that it's the best Heat show I've attended
yet, and I believe it's my fifth one.  Without a doubt, Liberty Lunch is
the place to see him.

-John L. Wetzler