I JUST WANNA TESTIFY: Years ago I saw the Reverend Horton Heat at the Huntridge Theater with my friend Linsey, who I dragged along. She watched the psychobilly three-piece with real intent and gamely endured my fanboy questions (“Aren’t they great? Doncha love ’em?”). Finally, she declared, “This is speed-metal with tailored clothing.” And I replied, “Yes, and…?” I stand behind that statement today: The Reverend—playing the Hard Rock Café on the Strip on Sept. 16 ($20, $25 at door)—is a little bit hillbilly, a little bit punk, a little bit metal and all the fucking way insane. You don’t watch them perform; they watch you react, and dial up the madness accordingly. And their suits? Impeccable.
MONEY TALKS: Ke$ha plays one of the last dates of her nearly yearlong Get $leazy tour at Planet Hollywood on Sept. 16 ($47-$81). Fun fact: Get $leazy has its own Wikipedia page with a detailed description that’s loaded with spoilers (Torture! Glitter!) and a “critical reception” subheading full of accolades: “unexpectedly awesome” (Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly) and “refreshing and even a little endearing” (Meagan Buerger, Washington Post). More recently, Dallas Morning News reviewer Mario Tarradell left Ke$ha’s Aug. 4 show a surprised convert. “Too much more than 75 minutes of Ke$ha in one sitting would probably make even the most carefree bash turn grumpy,” he wrote. “But in concert she delivered just enough.” There’s one for the Wikipedia page: “Just enough.”
NOW ON SALE: Lupe Fiasco plays the Pearl on Oct. 9 ($49-$89), and critics say he’s on fire. In the wake of an Aug. 13 show—an opening set for Bassnectaar—Jon Pareles of The New York Times praised Fiasco’s “thoughtful rhymes, which grapple with stardom, urban struggles and sometimes apocalyptic visions.” Imagine a whole set of that.