The weren’t any sandals at the Pour House on Tuesday night. The normally laid-back venue was invaded by rowdy Joe Buck fans, intent on summoning the feral spirit of his brand of hellbilly rock. It was a small crowd, but made up of die-hards.
The Pour House is a great spot for Buck’s one man show. The last few times he came to town, he had to perform at ground level. His setup is basically a mic, a guitar, a kick drum, and one red light pointing up from the drum. The raised stage gave everybody a chance to see his gaunt, mohawked mug twist and contort as he barreled through songs. The Pour House PA was a huge leap forward for his show. The distortion and sustain rumbled throughout the place. He made it halfway through a soundcheck, and was so stoked with the sound, he just cranked right into his set.
Buck doesn’t perform a show as much as he connects with the people right in front of him. He does it with such intensity that it fills the room with a sulfurous vibe of an exorcism. By the end, people were climbing on the stage and speakers, trying to get as close as possible.
I’m not sure the Pour House has ever hosted a show that had chants of “Give me your hate!” over and over again. His songs of death, murder, and power set to a driving kick drum and demonic surf guitar were such a contrast to the psych-americana music usually heard there. It worked, though.