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January 20, 2007

Preaching to the Choir

The last time I saw the Reverend Horton Heat, I was living in Orange County and drove to my favorite venue, the House of Blues on Sunset Strip. Now, I live in Los Angeles and drove to Orange County to see the good Reverend at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Ironic, but as someone pointed out to me, it's much better to see the Reverend in Hootenanny Country.

The House of Blues Anaheim show was the second of a five-night run throughout Southern California. Right away, I'll admit at the start that I feel a little odd writing this review, since our dear friend DJ Wanda was at the Tuesday night show at the HOB Anaheim, and I consider her to be a much more eloquent, knowledgeable, and opinionated writer than I am. But she, bless her heart, is at Punk Rock Bowling this weekend, and I don't see her pausing from her drinking any time soon in order to write about the show, so I'm taking the initiative and just doing it, damn it!

Th' Legendary Shack Shakers took the stage promptly at eight o'clock (thankfully, I'd obeyed Wanda's "Don't be late!" commands), and after standing in the longest line ever at the ticket window (I suppose that's what I get for not ordering my tickets online, but as I discovered, I saved myself $8 in service fees by purchasing at the ticket window), standing in another line to get wristbanded, and yet another line to get have my ticket scanned and go through security, I was in, with plenty of time. I fully expected Col. J.D. Wilkes to have completely undressed himself on stage by the end of his set (he never took his pants off, though - sigh), and with his wild antics, I was surprised when he didn't start walking on the ceiling.

In contrast, Junior Brown just stood in one place for his hour, picking his guit-steel, demonstrating usual Junior Brown greatness, despite a long awkward pause at the beginning of his set and a dead mic that had to be replaced in the middle.

The Reverend is well aware that several members of his congregation may have had plans to see him at more than one show during this run, so in a genius move to create some diversity for those fans, after a solid 40 minutes, the Reverend started taking requests, mixing those in with his own selections. A disclaimer at the beginning of the request announcement gave him the freedom to turn down requests he didn't think he'd be able to do ("I've written over 100 songs, and have killed over one billion brain cells."), but it sure was exciting when someone would request a song he'd clearly not done in a while, but played it anyway.

I understand that the Reverend played until past 12:30a, but I left three-quarters of the way through. That's the problem with cute shoes - they really aren't great to wear to concerts that require you to stand for four and a half hours. By the time I left, my feet HURT.

If you don't already have tickets for the weekend shows at the Henry Fonda Theatre or the Troubadour, you're probably SOL, as I believe both of these are now sold-out. But maybe you'll get lucky and have a chance to sell your soul to a scalper for them. The Reverend will save you.

Posted by darlin at January 20, 2007 5:02 PM