A few minutes before the Reverend Horton Heat took the stage on Tuesday a friend of mine turned to me and said something along the lines of, “The Jinx is really doing a great job of bringing in big acts.”
I agreed, and we both noticed that it was probably paying off in dividends for the Congress street music venue.
The evidence of our conversation is in the amount of people that squeezed into The Jinx even on a Tuesday to see the legendary king of rockabilly.
The venerated priest of rock ’n’ roll opened the show with a standard rockabilly jam that led straight into “Smell of Gasoline” off the the brand new album, REV.
While it’s most certainly fun to listen to the Reverend Horton Heat’s recorded version,seeing them live is – and excuse the simplicity of this statement – pretty freaking amazing.
The Reverend (Jim Heath) has a well rehearsed and well executed show, which might come off as a gimmick — a staged performance that is repeated every night with the robotic arms of seasoned musicians. (Yeah, that might be obvious, but let’s see you do what he does!)
It’s still really hard to not stand in awe of these guys. Heath, of course, was the attraction, but most surprising was Jimbo Wallace (upright bass) and Scott Churilla (drums). Hands down, they were probably one of the best rhythm sections I’ve ever seen live.
Horton Heat poured through a couple of new tracks off REV, and coursed through a bit of the older stuff as well, in the opening 30 minute set that was absolutely non-stop fun.
Midway through the second set, Heath said something to the effect, “We don’t do many covers, but if we do we might as well do this one.”
In a split second Jimbo and Heath switched instruments and went straight into a roaring version of “Johnny B. Goode.” It might be an obvious cover song for this band, but the instrument switch and the skill level at which they each embraced their atypical tools were impressive.
After around a 30 minute second set, Horton Heat capped the final song off with a nice bluesy turnaround, bringing the entire show to a pleasant cadence. But, by that point, around 1a.m., we’d all been drinking for a while, and were not going quietly into the night.
A three to five minute rowdy beckoning brought the Reverend back to the stage for an encore that was pretty much a third set, which included an extended edition of “Galaxy 500.”
Highlighting the final set was Churilla’s nine minute (estimated) drum solo on his pristine red Ludwig kit. It was pretty easy to be impressed with Churilla during the first two sets, but after his insane drum solo that kept my barely sober attention span completely engaged, I felt I had been privy to the likes of John Bonham.
Heath was very gracious to the excellent crowd at the Jinx. After playing huge venues, like the Fillmore, I am sure hitting up a small club with a packed crowd has its own rewards.
I missed the first opener, The Wave Slaves, having expected the show to start at JST (Jinx Standard Time), typically 10:30 p.m.
However, I did make it just in time to see COEDS‘ entire set. I had the pleasure of seeing these guy’s first show in Savannah, as well as many others over the last few months.
Each time I see them they get better and tighter as a group. Opening for the Rev. must have egged them on. It was the best set I’ve seen them play thus far.
I am pretty stoked to see these guys grow as a band. They have a unique sensibility in their song craft that is a great example of the music community in Savannah. There are lots of great bands doing their own unique thing here, and it’s nice to see a group stick to what they do, do it well, and be supported for that.
A final observation on COEDS: Each time I see Jeremiah Stuard (bass) and Donald Moats (drums) play, I am impressed. These guys are one of the best rhythm sections in town. I feel they are like The Band; they might backup superstars, but truly they are superstars in their own right.
Thank you Jinx for yet another great show.
Some more photos by Petee and Tom: