Stereotypes aside, there was certainly a theme to the evening at Club Soda on Saturday, May 28. Leather, chains and heavy black eyeliner abound, along with many rockabilly do’s, tight jeans on dudes and Dr. Martens on every second pair of feet.
Montreal’s own psychobilly group of self-proclaimed zombies, The Brains, were the first opening act. They inspired a respectable mosh pit, playing several upbeat rock anthems with elements of ska, proving the living dead can still party hardy.
The second opener was Vancouver’s The Real McKenzies, a saxy sextet of kilt-clad Canadians with Scottish roots. I must admit that the cow-print bagpipes were a nice touch. As to be expected from men in skirts, there was much camaraderie and bromance on stage. The set list was comprised of a cross between Scottish drinking music and metal. Interactions with the crowd between songs often had political undertones, with discussions about the Middle East as well as warnings against using discrimination. Later in the show, Paul McKenzie ripped, chewed and spit out a $20 bill as a statement about how sick money makes him. Perhaps not the most effective method of bringing down capitalist systems, but it's certainly better than trying to stick it up his nose like the beer he snorted earlier in the evening.
Finally, just after midnight, Reverend Horton Heat took to the stage. The Reverend himself wore bright red dress pants with flame-shaped patches on the sides. Frankly, it was fitting, because the show was on fire! There was not a still body to be found in the place. They played one song off each of their albums in chronological order. Mid-way through the show, the band decided to begin taking requests from the audience, starting with "Where The Hell Did You Go With My Toothbrush." The crowd erupted during "Bales of Cocaine," and the night ended with an extended encore that included solos from both Scott Churilla on drums and Jimbo Wallas on double bass. Evidently, the band lived up to their own legend, playing fast-paced tunes with a fluidity and assuredness that only comes with years of experience. The most refreshing part was that the guys came across humble and happy to be on stage, and rocking-out on a double bass, even after decades of performing.