This week, Reverend Horton Heat comes to GOTTROCKS, and it is sure to be a good time. The Reverend’s bawdy manner and lively stage presence make his shows one-of-a-kind. Also this week, The Radio Room celebrates one year in their new home (and what a great home it is). As mentioned last week, The Firmament is delving even further into dance territory by hosting Dubstep heavy-hitter, Borgore. Find all of the other shows you won’t want to miss in this week’s calendar.
Thursday: Reverend Horton Heat @ Gottrocks, 6 PM
It was 2001 or so when I got my hands on my first Reverend Horton Heat album. It was his 1994 release Liquor in the Front, so obviously I was a little late to the party but I will never forget the experience of listening to the album for the first time. The first notes of the album’s instrumental opening “Big Sky” grabbed my attention and have never let go in all of the year’s since.
The Reverend Horton Heat – real name Jim Heath – has been a musical force to be reckoned with since the 1990 release Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em. That album featured the track “Psychobilly Freakout” which, for all intents and purposes, introduced American audiences to the Psychobilly genre of music that was popular in Europe at the time. A delightful blend of rockabilly and punk rock, the sound takes all of the best elements of both genres, with the surf rock, country, and swing elements of rockabilly delivered with the defiant intensity of punk.
The Reverend’s take on this style of music has a solid foundation in his Texas roots and classic American country themes. Songs of heartbreak (“Baddest of the Bad”), fast cars (“Galaxy 500”), and fast living (“Baby, I’m Drunk”) are delivered with a ferocity that never takes a break and demands that you dance – or flail, in my case – to every note. Throw in a fair amount of thinly veiled sexual innuendo for good measure and juvenile giggles and both baseball and apple pie find themselves wishing they were as American as the Reverend Horton Heat.
Joining the Reverend is his longtime bandmate and stand-up bassist Jimbo Wallace who brings as much of a presence to the stage as Heat himself. Jimbo assaults his instrument as much as he plays it with his slap bass technique and penchant for throwing it in the air or letting the Reverend stand on it while he plays. Jimbo also appears as a character in a few songs which is well a deserved honor for such an immense stage presence. Rounding out the three-piece unit is RJ Contreras who just began holding down the drum kit in 2017.
As with any quality upcoming show, this one prompted me to go back and revisit my Reverend Horton Heat catalog from beginning to end before writing this story. One thing that became abundantly clear is that even though the band has been touring and releasing albums since 1990, they have yet to take the foot off the gas. The energy and themes on their most recent release, 2014’s Rev, shows no signs of slowing down or even shifting gears. The song “Never Gonna Stop It” is a testament to this as Heat himself promises that “the Bushes… Obama… the United Nations… are never gonna stop it – Rock & Roll”.
The Reverend Horton Heat will be supported by Big Sandy and the Psycho Devilles, both nationally touring rockabilly masters in their own right. This is a huge night of music and yet another friendly reminder that we do not need “Asheville’s music scene” because we have our own and it is doing just fine, thank you very much.
This is a 21 and up show with tickets reasonably priced at $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show.
Saturday: Radio Room One Year Party with Baby Baby & More, 8 PM
The Radio Room does not need any reason to put on a killer show on a Saturday night because, simply, that is just what they do. This one brings a little more cause for celebration, however, as it has already been a year since our favorite dive bar made the move to their current location at the corner of Rutherford Rd. and Poinsett Hwy. It has been a year full of bigger shows with the same dive bar attitude so why not throw a party, right?
An evening full of music will be headlined by Baby Baby, a band that you need to see live as soon as possible and then again and again after that. The Atlanta based rock band approaches music with a fun loving irreverence that is refreshing and a perfect recipe for a darn good time. Local favorites Mason Jar Menagerie, Hugger Mugger, Chunx, and The Apartment Club will kick things off on the main stage and Vilai Harrington and Mark Webb Jr. will set up outside early for a free cookout on the patio.
Other Performances You Won’t Want to Miss…
- Inanimate Existence @ GroundZero, 6 PM: It’s Death Metal Tuesday in Spartanburg courtesy of Ground Zero and Inanimate Existence.
- The Electric Folk @ Greenbrier Farms, 5 PM: Kick back and relax with live music on the porch and farm to table vittles served from Greenbrier Farms.
- The LOZ Band @ The Reedy River Concert Series, 7 PM: Our favorite local stoner-pop rockers are returning to the amphitheater behind the Peace Center for the perfect outdoor listening experience to break up your week.
- Splang! @ Gottrocks, 9 PM: We are not sure what to expect of a sound described as “intense, face melting prog odd meter jams for drum solos, prog-fusion, jazz fusion, prog rock, and Indian Tihal’s” but you can be darn sure we are excited to get to Gottrocks to find out.
- Hustle Souls @ Downtown Alive, 5:30 PM: Asheville’s southern soul ensemble Hustle Souls is coming down the mountain for an evening at NOMA Square.
- Wyatt Espalin and Christina Vane @ Smiley’s Acoustic Café, 6:30 PM & 10 PM: Singer, songwriter, and fiddler Wyatt Espalin check in for the early set while Christina Vane brings in the blues for the late set at Smiley’s.
- The Pussywillows @ Quest Brewing Company, 7 PM: Indie/alternative rock duo The Pussywillows bring their “Tarantino feminism sound” to Quest and, we have to admit, we are intrigued.
- Borgore @ The Firmament, 7 PM: Israeli EDM producer and DJ visit The Firmament for an electronic evening of dance music.
- American Aquarium and Travis Meadows @ The Radio Room, 8 PM: Critically acclaimed alternative country band American Aquarium is back and as good as ever after a brief hiatus and lineup change.
- Koala Soup, Carolina Vibes, & More @ GroundZero, 6 PM: Boiling Springs-based progressive rock band Koala Soup headlines a big evening of music at GroundZero.
- Austin Coleman and Bad Weather States @ Smiley’s Acoustic Café, 6:30 PM & 10 PM: Singer/songwriter Austin Coleman kicks the evening off and Greenwood rockers bring Bad Weather States brings it to a close.
- Sun Parade, Tides in Transit, and Dead Swells @ The Radio Room, 8 PM: Massachusetts based psychedelic rock band leads a wonderful evening of music with the help of some local talent.
- Angela Easterling @ The Growler Haus – Anderson, 8 PM: Upstate singer-songwriter Angela Easterling visits Anderson for a lovely evening of music at the original Growler Haus.
- Invocation Spells @ Ground Zero, 6 PM: Invocation Spells is a black/thrash metal outfit from Chile who will be joined by a host of national and regional acts for the Spartanburg leg of their US tour.
- Interstellar Echoes: A Tribute to Pink Floyd @ The Firmament, 8 PM: Complete with the laser show, Interstellar Echoes aims to recreate the Pink Floyd experience at the Firmament Saturday night.
- Brooks Dixon Band with the Dane Page Band @ Gottrocks, 8:30 PM: Brooks Dixon brings out the whole band for a delightful evening of music with special guest, Charlotte singer/songwriter Dane Page and his band.
- Brother Oliver @ Velo Fellow, 9 PM: Psychedelic folk rockers Brother Oliver returns to Velo Fellow for what is always an impressive performance.
- Pop Evil @ The Firmament, 7 PM: 93.3 Presents a night of modern alternative rock with Michigan’s Pop Evil supported by Black River Rebels, Seven Year Witch, Solarist, and State of Illusion.
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