March 25, 2009
Celebrating the CD release of their highly acclaimed project, The Mountain, the Heartless Bastards performed before a rabid home audience in Kentucky at the Madison Theater on March 25.
Beginning with the ethereal "Into the Open," Erika Wennerstrom’s haunting vocals instantly filled the old movie palace with urgent yearning and a bellowing wail. "New Resolution" from their Fat Possum debut, Stairs and Elevators, followed on the assertive strength of Dave Colvin’s powerhouse drum attack.
Dipping into the garage rock cover of Junior Kimbrough’s "Done Got Old," Wennerstrom took command, snapping back her neck to belt out a crackling delivery. Stomping her boots to the Bastard’s tight, straightforward pacing, Wennerstrom’s guitar playing arched skyward during the title track from The Mountain. Jesse Ebaugh’s rumbling bass lines became the driving force behind a punk laced rendering of "Out at Sea."
With a transfixed crowd on the floor, the group took flight on "Sway." As the Heartless Bastards explored the song’s improvisational midsection, their echoing feedback and distortion rocked the inner city building, the vibrations extending to the back bar. "I Swallowed a Dragonfly" found many enthusiasts dancing to Colvin’s insistent beat, and as Wennerstrom and co. launched into "Hold Your Head High," the Madison’s denizens expressed the warm appreciation of connecting to the Bastards, their favorite hometown unit.