by Donte Kirby
“I would venture to say this is the best show we’ve ever had in Philadelphia. Thank you guys,” said Pete Bernhard, lead singer of The Devil Makes Three, to the crowd. The band, along with Joe Pug, had the audience rip-roaring and feet-stomping at the Theatre of Living Arts on Sunday night.
Pug warmed up the stage accompanied by a stand-up bass and electric guitar to go with his acoustic and the occasional harmonica. There’s country twang and world weariness in his voice. “Usually when we come to Philly we’re playing in a place called Johnny B’s, shout to Johnny Brenda’s! It’s good to be in a bigger place.” The TLA was full early on and the crowd only grew as the show progressed.
Pug performed songs ranging from the older “I Do My Father’s Drugs” to Harvey Young covers and singles from a new album to be released in March. Windfall is available for preorders now.
The Devil Makes Three had the crowd in a frenzy from the first macabre, ragtime note. The three to five piece, depending on the song, had the TLA feeling like an earthquake by the end of the night. So much so that one fan got too crazy and was escorted out by security…along with his date. This was a minor incident in an otherwise jubilant crowd.
The audience sang along to every word of “All Hail” with The Devil Makes Three, danced all the way through “Hallelu”, and the call and response of the crowd for the chorus of “Forty Days” was a thing of beauty. “We’re gonna play a few songs by some heroes of ours,” said Bernhard and they did Doc Watson’s “Walk on Boy” and a song by Don Rich.
At the end of the show, if you weren’t drenched in sweat, you looked out of place. Joe Pug will be back in town at the Boot and Saddle in April. As for The Devil Makes Three- after Sunday’s performance, fans are promising their first borns to bring them back before the year’s end.