John Wetzler's Concert Review - 12/19/97

Austin Concert - 12/19/97

Phat-Chronic! That's about the only way I could possibly describe the show.

(Okay, so it's more a synopsis of the show, than a "review".)

The opening act was a group called "Spies Like Us," out of San Antonio. An interesting group. Like a really intense, hopped up lounge band. Nine people up on stage, four of which were horns. Had this wierd "Blues Brothers" theme going. All-in-all, not a bad opening act. If they happen to open for some group in your area, you might check 'em out, if the tickets are cheap.

But, that's not why you're here...

The Rev. and crew came on stage around 11:45. Opened with a great pseudo-instrumental number (mostly instrumental, interspersed with the group shouting "hey! ho!" - sort of like Marijuana or Psychobilly Freakout). Beats me what it's called. Something off the next album. In total, I think they did six or seven songs from the upcoming album (which, by the way, should be available sometime in March, according to the Rev.). One of the songs isn't new (they wrote it about ten years ago, I think he said), but has yet to be released. Sort of a country/bluegrass arrangement. No lyrics, that I can remember. Incredible solos by both Jimbo and Scott. This, too, should be on the next album.

At some point during the first half, the Rev. tried to stir up the crowd saying that Dallas was better than Austin. Yeah, like that'd happen. Anyway, about the third comment about the rivalry, the fans broke into a "Dallas sucks! Dallas sucks!" chant. Then he admitted that he was from Corpus Christie (sp?), and didn't really care either way. He introduced Jimbo, who comes from Deerpark, TX, and Scott, who comes from Gary, Indiana. The fans booed Gary, to which the Rev. replied, "Duh... You people in Austin really have a bad attitude, don't you?" Yes, we do.

Like I said, about halfway through, the band moved on to the old stuff. A big, non-stop run of Big Sky/Baddest of the Bad, One Time for Me, and Can't Surf (but I could be a little wrong about that... don't quite remember). During Can't Surf, Jimbo set his bass up on a chair, and "surfed" it. Sure, he does this at other concerts, I guess. I've only been to two, and don't remember that at the first one.

Next, the guys moved into some songs from It's Martini Time. Unfortunately, "Martini Time" wasn't among them. Of the songs I can recall, they played "Slow" and "Now, Right Now" before moving back to stuff from Full Custom... Did nifty extended versions of "400 bucks" and "Wiggle Stick." Long, drawn-out guitar jams in the middle of the songs. It was hard to tell if the instrumental sections were pre-planned or if they were basic free-form. Either way, they kicked ass. The show was closed with an extended version of "Big Red Rocket of Love." It was during this "extension period" where Jimbo laid down that big ol' upright bass, and the Rev. climbed up on that sucker.

The crowd stayed, cheering for a few minutes, until the guys came back out. The encore started up with "That's Showbiz." Real easy-going, not unlike the album version. The crowd was fairly calm during this one. But, when the song ended, they went immediately into "Psychobilly Freakout." Not only that, but it seemed to be a faster version. Needless to say, I "freaked out." He ended just after one in the morning.

To sum up, the band was great. High energy, high intensity. Much more crowd interaction than was at the Butthole Surfers concert. If Reverend Horton Heat makes it to your area, you must go. I think it's one of the Ten Commandments...
- John Wetzler (

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