Live Review: HONKY at the City National Grove of Anaheim

My beautiful pictureA funny thing happened Friday night in Anaheim, in the shadow of the Dark Kingdom of Artifice. A rock show happened. A HEAVY rock show, due in large part to a trio from Texas that plays a brand of rock and roll they call “Austin Superboogie.” HONKY is that band, and their performance really loosened the atmosphere in a previously uptight room. Touring in support of their newest record, “421,” their heavy, turbocharged boogie metal Southern rock did not disappoint.

Led ably by J.D. Pinkus (Butthole Surfers) on bass and vocals, and Bobby Ed Landgraf(Gahdzilla Motor Company, Blowfly) on guitar and vocals, the band ripped through a ferocious set. “Plugs, Mugs, and Jugs,” a powerful instrumental from the 2005 release “Balls Out Inn,” set a tone early in the set that was maintained throughout and solidly moved along by drummer Michael “Night Train” Brueggen (Blackula, Supagroup, Syrup). They followed up with another favorite, “Undertaker,” proceeding to increase momentum with a faithful rendition of the Pat Travers classic “Snortin’ Whiskey, Drinkin’ Cocaine.” J.D. and Bobby Ed somewhat resemble a young, high energy ZZ Top, with their long beards and humorous stage camaraderie. “Love to Smoke Your Weed” really got the crowd going, and it was nice to see that the lighting tech had a sense of humor, washing the front of the stage in a green hue for the duration of the song. WFO (from “421”) found the band at their aggressive best, and Bobby Ed continued to prove himself to be not only a great showman, but an incredibly skilled guitar player. Honky bade us all a good night, but not before leaving us with the gem “Smoking Weed With Helios Creed,” which showed that the magic that happens from a great rock band can’t be simulated by a theme park.

Written by John Ramirez.

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