Motorhead/Reverend Horton Heat/Nashville Pussy @ The House Of Blues, Boston, MA., September 6th, 2009

Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007

Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007

By George Pacheco

I’m not a fan of the House Of Blues. Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. Sure, this may not be the best way to endear or ingratiate myself here on my first Hellbound assignment, but it has to be said, anyway. The franchise’s Walt Disney connections and puritanical ambitions are clearly on display within their absolutely ridiculous alcohol policies. The fact that the venue gave out drinking bracelets outside—which is fine—yet continued to ID patrons at the bar with each beverage ordered kind of, I don’t know…makes absolutely NO sense, whatsoever. Add to this the fact that the HOB dared to charge $6.25 for a goddamn Pabst Blue Ribbon was almost enough to make me turn around, and march right back the hell out into the street.

But no, Motorhead awaited me, and I had an obligation to report this rock extravaganza to you dear Hellbound readers. So it was into the (overpriced) mouth of Hell I marched, sweaty hands clutching my already-raped wallet for dear life. We arrived at the venue an hour after doors opened, figuring the music would start at this time, right? Um…wrong, apparently, because another ultra-negative aspect of the House of Blues seems to be their fuddy-duddy fixation on patron bedtimes; Nashville Pussy had already played and packed up by the time we even walked through the doors. Lame.

With all of my erotic sugarplum visions of Pussy guitarist Ruyter Suys and bassist Karen Cuda dancing away from my head at this point, I decided to drown my sorrows within copious aforementioned PBR’s and The Reverend Horton Heat. The legendary Dallas, Texas punkabilly trio—spearheaded by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Jim “Reverend Horton” Heath—has been grandstandin’ and hellraisin’ for almost thirty years at this point, but time has had seemingly no affect on how hard Heath and the boys go for it every night.

Switching effortlessly between electric hard rock licks and smooth, country-fied jams, The Reverend Horton Heat’s set served as a worthy appetizer to whet the palette for Lemmy and company. This being said, however, your humble writer is of the opinion that The Rev went on a bit long, and Nashville Pussy’s more raucous stage antics and scummier bar rock sound would have served as a tastier second course…but that’s just me.

As fitting as all three bands were to the evening’s lineup, the honest-to-England truth was that there was only ONE band which could unite every Bostonian degenerate ‘n dreg on this evening. “Hello, we are Motorhead, and we play rock ‘n roll,” was the rallying cry, and no sooner was it uttered by bass assassin Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister then the capacity crowd went absolutely—and predictably—bananas.

Kicking things of righteously enough with a massive “Iron Fist”, The ‘Head got the heads a-bangin’ and fists a-pumpin’, and kept the blood flowing throughout the entirety of their set, coupling a surprising amount of newer selections alongside old and classic favorites. Sure, it was great to hear an acoustic “Whorehouse Blues”, 1916’s “Going To Brazil”, and a handful of numbers from 1983’s underrated and maligned Another Perfect Day (which featured the talents of Thin Lizzy axeman Brian “Robbo” Robertson), but there were also a couple of glaring omissions.

Of course, everyone’s idea of a “perfect” set list is different, but I was admittedly shocked to find that usual set staples such as “Stay Clean”, “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”, and “Orgasmatron” were nowhere to be found. “Killed By Death”…er, “killed”, as usual, but I was—again—surprised that songs such as “Jailbait”, “Too Late, Too Late”, and even the band’s anthemic namesake, “Motorhead” were also missing from the evening’s set. The band knew well enough to end on a high note, however, and the encore triumvirate of “Bomber”, “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill” sent this booze-addled writer into a beer-spitting frenzy…much to the chagrin of my now-soaked comrades-in-arms. Sorry, dudes.

So, what’s my final analysis? Well, I’ve seen Motorhead before, and—to be honest—they’ve been better. That being said, it’s still like complaining about which blow from a sledgehammer hurts the most: Motorhead’s all-encompassing rock will always leads me back every time.

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.