Friday, February 07, 2020

The Swamp Gospel, the Psyatics, the Sheiks of Neptune at the House of Blues, Thursday, Feb 6, 2020

(Photo by Angee Rib)

Local hep-cat promoter-about-town Patrick "Pulsar" Trout is now working at the House Of Blues here in Las Vegas and has started a new series, the All In Showcase, that (mostly) focuses on local bands, giving us a large venue to rant'n'rave in. This evening was the second in the series, with 5 local combos supporting touring Texan act, the Heroine.

As usual, the Swamp Gospel opened up the night with our brand of rock'n'roll salvation. We were pleasantly surprised to find more people in the hall than we had initially expected, as we started at 6:30 on a Thursday eve, so our hopes were not high. But, there were friendly faces filling up the floor (and the Sheiks were kindly supportive and right up front) who were willing to get into the (holy) spirit and join in on the rockin' redemption. Our half hour set co-mingled old'n'new tunes, a bit of preachin' and even a bit of snake handlin'! A soul-savin' good time was had by all!

(above SG pix by NIkki Ruffling) 

(SG pic by Jessie Moinichen)

I did double duty by also playing guitar with the Psyatics for the evening as we went through an energetic set of old'n'new, as well, with several numbers from our upcoming album, Devil You Know. We blasted through our set quickly enough (despite some technical difficulties when Rob unplugged himself while fruggin' to the beat) that we were even able to add our traditional closer, "Gentlemen of Four Outs", in order to close the set with an appropriately crazed noize fest in which Mark pummeled the house drum kit and original guitarist Jack apparently broke a finger! The sacrifices we make for rock'n'roll!

(Psyatics pix by Nikki Ruffling)

The 6 piece Sheiks of Neptune never fail to entertain, with crazed front man Dick Vain's antics, costumes and toys backed by ace musicians - two terrific guitarists, a stellar drummer, pulsatin' bassist and a rockin' violinist! The high energy musical interaction is sometimes almost too much to follow as riffs fly back'n'forth, the beat starts'n'stops, harmonics jump in'n'out and somehow Vain keeps a melody on top of it all while flailin' about non-stop and changing costumes (he came out in a full astronaut outfit) mid-song! Balloons flew, musicians jumped in the audience (no easy feat at the HOB!), fans sang along and smiles were on everyone's faces! The Sheiks are a multi-media spectacle - be sure to see them whenever you can!


The Sheiks definitely had the audience of the night, as the place was filled with their fanatical fans who, unfortunately for the following groups, mostly left after their set. We caught a bit of the alt-rock/ grunge-pop of the People's Whiskey before the Thursday night caught up with us and we had to split for some sleep before the next day's work.

A huge thank you again to Pulsar for taking a chance on local acts and letting them get weird at the House of Blues! Hopefully, this experiment will continue to give groups an large, all-ages venue!