The current booking staff seems to be doing a fine job capturing a date on many great bands tours at the Majestic Complex these days. I've found myself, especially this past year, inside the MajesticTheatre more than ever since the 90’s when Crash Worship and Tortoise would bring out the weirdos. The Magic Stick was just really starting to get going, still had a couple bowling lanes in place, the bar you bellied up to was right at the top of stairs and the shows much more locally centric. The local bent is still there but even a lazy eye could observe that it revolves around a handful of bands or members of.
Toronto’s Creepshow opens the evening. With a chunk of the crowd still in line we make are way decently close to center stage. Amongst early introductions the band says they finally got there travel visas in order and their guitarist got into a car wreck and they almost had to cancel. The shredding beheader with them tonight had a day to learn the parts and indeed jumped in and around literally with mighty gusto for just stepping into this.
They also gave a shout out to one of Michigan’s most underrated bands The Koffin Kats who have made more than a name for themselves across America’s Wasteland as Bad Motherfuckers.
Creepshow are anchored heavily in the Pyscho -billy tradition but with glorious hipster hirsuteness, from the crypt lyrics and in context a glamorous siren of a singer that worked the stage like a it was a stadium. She finished the set in the crowd telling everyone to get in closer. Closer. Closer and as some start to it’s all over. She hops on stage and they’re gone. The band will be at Small’s in Hamtramck on April 24th. Definitely worth checking out.
Next up the legendary Nekromantix. Their coffin shaped logo mirroring Kim Nekroman’s signature bass raised high behind them. Though they hit the stage hard with Kim licking his stand up as he slapped away there was some sound issues which kept the first part of set strapped in until one of their stage techs was back at the board setting things straight. Slapback is a fine art for sure. I remember when Heavy Trash (Matt Verta-Ray from Speedball Baby & Jon Spencer from ya know the Blues Explosion) was touring with Powersolo and the Soundman, used to certain approaches for all bands rather than what the musicians are trying to accomplish; completely missing the vibe until Verta-Ray got on the dials and suddenly the hic-cups and dynamics of their sound came through.
Ultimately it didn’t seem to ruin anything for whom was there particularly to see the Nekromantix , who sang most of the words and piled in closer as the set went on.
For many of us our introduction to Reverend Horton Heat was through the SUB POP records single club record “It’s A Pyschobilly Freakout” which was the trios second song this evening. Most of the first portion of the set was new material that unfortunately wasn’t yet available that night for purchase. Singer/Guitar player Jim Heath was pretty casual on stage. No rhinestoned-make Porter Wagner jealous jacket framed his shoulders. I heard a few people say they didn’t think they hit it as hard tonight as they had in previous visits.
I hadn’t seen the band since I was in Austin a few years back for the Austin City Limits Festival where they actually didn’t stand out as much as they and Supersuckers did amidst all the Grunge era bands but I felt they indeed did the work. It may have been the pacing of show they were touring with that featured Deke Dickerson. A picker they met in Southern California when the band first started.
When Deke came out they did all the Honky Tonk routines with himself and bassist Jimbo Wallace both alternately playing Heath’s guitar while he sat down.
If anyone has ever seen Dale Beavers (who guested on albums by Compulsive Gamblers and toured with R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough) can get a sense of the story telling mixed with performance that Deke brings. He at one point donned a hunter’s orange floppy eared cap, made some slightly homophobic comments that lost me and frankly started to bore the shit out of me before he caught me back up, the band engaged and kept the momentum going to a fine finale.
Juke Joint/Review themed programs like this are supposed to have some breath and impatience.
Holy Sheep Shit.
Sometimes it’s the journey more than the destination.