Reverend Horton Heat has been laying down the sweet psychobilly sounds for over 25 years, and Denver’s show at the Ogden on Saturday marked the last date on the band’s current tour. Although the crowd did not turn out in the colorful rockabilly garb and classic cars I’ve witnessed at other Heat shows across the country, it was clear that they were ready for a “Psychobilly Freakout.”
To mark the occasion, the band started the set with one song from each album. They ripped quickly through “400 Bucks,” “Baddest of the Bad,” “It’s Martini Time,” “Jimbo Song,” “Party in your Head,” “Galaxy 500,” “Indigo Friends,” “Death Metal Guys,” and even a fun take on “Run Run Rudolph” where lead singer Jim Heath played standup bass while bassist Jimbo Wallace played guitar.
Hearing nine songs in a row — one from each album — makes you understand just how deep Reverend Horton Heat’s catalog really is. What’s even more impressive is how much material the crowd knows. The band started taking requests after the first nine songs, and played crowd favorites such as “Bales of Cocaine,” “Marijuana,” “Bad Reputation,” and “Devil’s Chasing Me.”
It was clear the band was having as much fun as the crowd, something that might be difficult for any group that has been touring nearly 25 years to say. During the encore they let the guitar tech “Hoss” lead a rendition of “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead, then transitioned into an uptempo cover of “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the last song “Big Red Rocket of Love.”
“Somebody help me. I can’t stop on my own!” said Heath as he continued a guitar flourish after the rest of the band wrapped up.
Supersuckers, another Texas band, opened the show with heavy Americana guitar riffs. Reverend Horton Heat’s former drummer Scott Churilla is now the drummer for Supersuckers, and he also joined Heat for a few songs. Supersuckers are the self described “best band in the world,” although the crowd seemed to feel otherwise. Taken to raise their guitars and basses over their heads in celebration between songs, there was a clear disconnect between their energy and that of the crowd during their set.
Allen Klosowski is the social media strategist for The Denver Post. Check out his photos online.
Todd Radunsky is a Boulder-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.