Jim Jones Revue Delivers on the Hype

September 12th, 2011

Jim Jones Revue – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 10, 2011

“What happens next, don’t worry ’cause I got the cure,” said Jim Jones. He and the rest of the Jim Jones Revue thumped onstage, offering up their rock remedy on Saturday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Men, dressed mostly in black, gathered up their instruments as if they were loading their weapons for a shootout. With their greaser looks and stoic expressions, you’d think they were up to no good. But in the end, they just wanted to play a few songs. Formed in 2008 by former Thee Hypnotics’ vocalist Jones, the Jim Jones Revue has been christened one of the best rock bands out there. That’s a tall order for any band, but live, the sentiment gains its legitimacy.

Raucous, blistering guitars from the moment they plugged in, their rockabilly punk hurled jolts of dance vibes. Yes, people were moving, especially one group from London, who proudly admitted to following the band around on their tour. Something out of 1970s Detroit or shadier like a younger, slightly more buoyant Grinderman, Jim Jones Revue has many colors even if the group habitually slips into one shade of clothes to keep up appearances. Their London roots weren’t evident to those unfamiliar with them until Jones sarcastically slipped out some words: “You call me a liar. I set your house on fire,” said the frontman before the title track from their new studio album, Burning Your House Down.

Nevertheless, Jones still seemed amicable fronting his gang of rock hooligans. Keyboardist Henri Herbert remained in a trance, standing and pounding the keys throughout the entire set like a possessed Jerry Lee Lewis, swinging his head back to relieve any built-up sweat on it. Whipping through track after track from Burning and never slowing down, the band returned to the stage just after midnight for a three-song encore, including new single “Elemental.” There was no fear as Jones stepped as close to the edge of the stage playing his guitar in pose, slapping his feet to the beat like a fine-formed rock star. And he is—they are. If there’s any doubt, the Jim Jones Revue is one of the only true rock bands out there. —Tina Benitez

Photos courtesy Patrick J. Eves | Hippie Death Bed Photography