Motörhead / Reverend Horton Heat / Nashville Pussy Sound Academy ... - Exclaim!

Motörhead / Reverend Horton Heat / Nashville Pussy
Sound Academy, Toronto, ON September 2 
By Keith Carman

An old rock joke questions who would win a fight between Motörhead mainstay Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister and God. For the uninitiated, the punch line declares bluntly that Lemmy is God. That's been the case for some 34 years as the outfit has essentially wrote the book on bare-bones, no-frills rock, a textbook studied by every hard rocker, metallion and punk since.

Therefore, it stands to reason that on this particular evening, despite rousing performances from the likes of southern-fried rednecks Nashville Pussy and psychobilly originators Reverend Horton Heat, the situation inside of the cavernous Sound Academy was one of waiting to be dazzled by His Holiness.

Despite kicking off early at 8 p.m., the Pussy was in strong form, hammering out their road-tested blues rock until guitarist Ruyter Suys rode a bouncer's shoulders to the merch table and proceeded to sign autographs forever.

Not to be outdone, slick scenester Reverend Horton Heat pulled out his trick bag, shimmying and sashaying about with refined glory as bassist Jimbo Wallace treated his stand-up bass like a dancing partner.

Still, it wasn't until the glorious MoHead took to the stage that everyone felt true power. Kicking off with a surprisingly slow rendition of "Iron Fist" before working out the kinks and raging via "Stay Clean," "Metropolis," "Another Perfect Day" and a set tuned heavily to fan favourites and just enough new material, the trio was as tight, severe and loud as ever.

Still, one would have hoped Lemmy stepped up to the mic a bit more, or took it away from guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee, who were a touch carnivalesque in their approach.

Regardless, thanks to their solid power, divine confidence and sheer volume while belting out "Ace of Spades" and "Overkill," Motörhead proved without a doubt that even with the grace of age, they can still show both long and greenhorns a thing or two about straightforward three-chord rock.