Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Reverend Beat Man with Nicole Izobel Garcia and the Swamp Gospel at the Beauty Bar, Monday April 23, 2018

The Reverend Beat Man (aka Lightnin' Beat Man) is a Swiss legend who has been around for numerous years (previously having played with the Monsters) and who has worked with a plenty of my Swiss friends. I have never had a chance to see him in concert before, so I was thrilled that the Swamp Gospel was asked to open this evening's show (thanks, Pulsar!). Monday nights are tough in Vegas and this was no exception as there was a sparse audience throughout the night and particularly during our early performance. But, the Gospel won over a few new converts and still enjoyed getting out and preachin' the gospel again.

The Reverend, normally a one-man band these days, was joined by Nicole Izobel Garcia (a female, so technically it was still a one MAN band, as I believe Pulsar pointed out) on drums, keys and vocals, giving a nice counterpoint to the Rev's gruff voice and blues trash playing. But, make no mistake, this was a wild mash of blues trash, with ravin' raw guitar (with nice use of a looper pedal to add layers of sound) and wild, garage-y songs (the organ added a hip, garage touch) like "Get On Your Knees", "Jesus Christ Twist", the call'n'answer of "Come Back to Me" and Nicole's sweeter lead vocals on songs like "I Never Told You I Loved You". There was a tune where Beat Man sung in his native Swiss/German and Nicole "translated" in Spanish and for the finale, he did a crazed number explaining why all Swiss look alike, in his own, inimitable fashion. This was a truly religious experience and one of the best shows in recent times - Vegas has to learn to not ignore legends when they come to town. I can guarantee you that those who were there were damn glad they were!

Thank you again to the Beauty Bar and promoter Pulsar for bringing magic to Las Vegas and not just looking at the dollar signs. Great night!