It was an early show the night The Devil Makes Three and soloist opener Shakey Graves performed at 9:30 club; this was a two show night for the club with the two being the first of the night. Despite the early time of the bill, not too long after the nine to fivers were let loose from their snares on a Friday evening, the club began to fill and fill even for Alejandro Rose-Garcia (Shakey Graves).
Several things caught my attention right from the start from Shakey Graves. It may have been that there were only two acts on the bill, but the opener had quite an attentive crowd right from the start. Its pretty often that the openers of shows, especially those not from around town, perform to a group of fans and others who may be caught in the moment enjoying the act while unfortunately a substantial swath of beer-buyers, merch-perusers, and doe-eyed amblers saunter about with focus on the performance being second. Not this show. I noticed that even the already filled balconies had their gazes set on the stage. Rose-Garcia's rambling folk inspired repertoire must have entranced the place. His solid and confident performance definitely got my attention. What else caught my eye was that there was an accompanying percussion line, yet only one man on stage. Shakey Graves not only consists of vocals that waver from quiet to intense and an acoustic guitar, included is a bass drum made from a drum head and an old suitcase with a kick peddle under his right foot and a tambourine with another kick peddle under his left foot; all being utilized and skillfully played by one Alejandro Rose-Garcia.
Having heard of and listened to quite a bit of headliners The Devil Makes Three I knew I was in for a great performance, and a great performance it was! The trio walked on staged as the club was packed to the brim, and the three started out with energy that lasted throughout their whole set. The band is made up of Pete Bernhard on guitar and vocals, Lucia Turino on the upright bass, and Cooper McBean on guitar and banjo, with a fourth on voilin who hopped on stage for a few songs. Turino's upright bass filled whatever need for percussion while playing her walking bass parts that carried Bernhard and McBean, whose guitar and banjo melodically wrapped around the vibrant walking bass tones to create a lively chugging mix of folk, rockabilly, and ragtime that seemed to originate from the mountains.
The only disappointment I had with any part of the show – it was over “too soon”. Being used to late nights with concerts, I had to reset the internal clock leaving 9:30 when I realized I still had the whole night ahead of me.
The Devil Makes Three