Ah, yes, whenever I’m in need of a real good show, I can always rely on the good Reverend to follow through. I’m beginning to think that Antone’s can also deliver just as well after last Saturday. I’ve been to about 4 Reverend Horton Heat shows before Saturday and I notched number 5 with my lovely girlfriend, whom have never seen the Rev before. Now, not only were we treated with a great headliner, but the opening acts packed some punches as well. All in the name of pushing Antone’s up on my list of go to joints to see concerts down here in Ausitn.
Oh, Antone’s. It’s such a simple place. Okay, not as barebones as Emo’s East, but still pretty plain and simple. A couple of bars, some lights, and an intimate stage right in the middle. Someday, I’ll go to the top of the stars and chill out in the VIP looking rooms, but until then I’ll enjoy my perfect view from anywhere on the floor. No, I didn’t get my shoes shined this time. Maybe when it gets warmer, I’ll wear some sandals in there for a shine.
We were running a little late but we only missed a song or two from Whiskey Shivers. If the Reverend Horton Heat is Rock-A-Billy then Whiskey Shivers is PunkGrass (read Punk and Bluegrass). They played some traditional bluegrass tunes as well as some originals. They even rocked to Kings of Leon’s ‘Holy Roller Novocaine’. That’s right, a song back when Kings of Leon were cool. The cherry on top of the set was after the set when they did an impromptu jam in the middle of the floor. Very cool indeed.
Next up was a band I’ve gushed about before: Not In The Face. The only real fair thing I can do in this instance is to talk about how much they’ve grown. No, not in a motherly sense, but in terms of stage presence and song presentation. The short answer? They got better. The long one? It seems like they have even more energy now on stage and it translated really well into the audience. They also did a choice cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins “I Put A Spell On You” without sounding like Creedence Clearwater Revival. This band is a couple of hot guitar solos away from some really great things.
Lastly, it was the mighty Reverend Horton Heat. It took a couple of minutes to get them setup because the white screen that Not In The Face used would roll back up automatically. Pushing that aside, the whole show was pretty damn great. They started going picking one song from each album they’ve done (9 total) and then took requests. The retrospective was a clever twist and it only could’ve sold well if they had a request section afterwards. It was the best of both worlds. That said, I missed out on a couple of my favorite Reverend songs but I know they’ll be back around preaching their Rock-A-Billy ways real soon.
The night was packed fairly tightly with energy from the whole spectrum of rock music including rockabilly, country, bluegrass, hard rock, and grunge. And it’s all thanks to Antone’s for putting on one helluva show. If you get a chance, see all three of these bands with giving alms to The Reverend Horton Heat as your first priority. We went from impromptu hillbilly jam in the middle of the floor to mosh pits during a Folsom Prison Blues cover. I love you Antone’s and all your creamy, nougaty, happiness that you provide.