Event Review – Reverend Horton Heat Tears Up West Palm Beach


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I’ve been a fan of Reverend Horton Heat since I picked up a copy of CMJ magazine in 1996. Back then CMJ enclosed a CD sampler of music and RHH was the second track on there. Upon the release of their Martini Time album I went straight to my local record shop and bought that sucker. Martini Time was a great companion during the summer of ’96 and the band has always held a soft spot ever since. Fast forward 18 years and I still hadn’t seen the Rev live. I came to find out about Rev playing West Palm Beach’s Respectable Street totally by coincidence and it pissed me off how little promotion was done for a show of this magnitude (read my piece from last week here for more on that.) I shouldn’t have been surprised that the turnout was solid and I’m going to to say that the grandfathers of rockabilly could easily provide that turnout on the merit of their music alone.

Scan of CMJ vol. 36 from August 1996

Scan of CMJ vol. 36 from August 1996

The show opened with local garage rock duo favorites, The Riot Act. I was astounded and baffled that the promoter had The Riot Act play first on the bill as that band has more in common with Reverend Horton Heat than the other two bands opening. It was a huge blunder for the pace of the show. The Riot Act truly brought it that night playing easily their best show thus far. See the video below.

Following them were Lake Worth bands Jangle Leg and Gravel Kings two prime examples of the solid folk/punk movement taking place in Lake Worth.

At 11PM Jim Heath and gang, collectively known as Reverend Horton Heat took the stage and did not let up for a minute. From Heath playing bass on an outstanding rendition of “Johnny Be Good” to the band performing most of the tracks off their latest offering REV on Victory Records to seeing such classics live as “Big Red Rocket of Love” and “Martini Time” was really a treat. The champions of upright bass and guitar twang brought their best to this West Palm Beach stage and for a band that’s been doing this for almost 30 years Reverend Horton Heat are still showing all these young cats how it’s done.

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Chuck Livid

Chuck Livid hails from Miami, Florida. He did a zine in the '90s called Muddy Chaos and is best known for his work with independent music label Livid Records. Chuck lives in Boca Raton, Fl with his wife illustrator Helena Garcia and their son Nico. He founded TuffGnarl.com and hosts TuffGnarl.com's official music podcast - Another Music Podcast which is available on iTunes & Google Play

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