My friend is a photographer. I figured it was better to let him handle the cell phone photography last night.
There’s really not much more to add other than it being a night of full-throated, raw, revved-up rock ‘n roll. Lyrical themes were limited to sex, drugs, booze, and rocking (save the Rev running through “Run Run Rudolph”). It was the sweatiest pit I’ve been in since college, and I don’t remember that many women participating in one before either. (Ladies: do me a favor next time and LEAVE THE HIGH HEELS AT HOME if you’re going to be in the pit. I have bruises on my feet to go with the neck pain and ears ringing.)
Nashville Pussy is equal parts Southern scuzzy boogie and AC/DC; lead guitarist Ruyter Suys has hair like Dee Snider and plays like Angus Young’s long-lost sister while Blaine Cartwright growls out the songs and the rhythm section puts everyone in a headlock. (There was a short adorable interlude where the band wished bassist Karen Cuda a happy birthday; Cartwright called it “a three-day celebration of beer, whiskey, and hallucinations” and then welcomed Cuda’s boyfriend on stage.) The band suffered from the Wonder Ballroom’s imbalance — it’s not a great place to play with two guitars because they’re gonna drown the vocals out. I’m not sure it particularly mattered to anyone in attendance.
The Reverend Horton Heat was an entirely different experience as I spent half of it being thrown around the pit and admiring the Rev’s guitar playing. His hands and the sounds he wrings out of his Gretsch are amazing, and you spend a bunch of time just watching him play and being mesmerized. Jimbo Wallace didn’t stand or ride on his bass this go-round, but Jimbo did enough of his thing to the point where I counted five bras on his mic by the end of the show. Paul Simmons kept it all together at the drum kit — when the Rev introduced Paul toward the end for his solo bit, I was astounded by the beats he was pounding out and looking for a second kick drum. Heat led the trio through about 20 songs or so in two hours, including a ripping cover of “Folsom Prison Blues.”
This was a $12 ticket, mind you. I got a show I would have easily paid $30+ for. That’s how high the entertainment quality was. If the Reverend comes to your city, you’d better get to church.