The Devil Makes Three, a California-based bluegrass and ragtime trio, played a passionate set at the Commodore Ballroom (Sunday Nov. 12th). The stage was set in long string lights, and the floor of The Commodore, notoriously packed with springs, was the perfect venue to experience this Americana group.
The foot-stomping of the crowd was set to a mixture of their more recent material (Redemption & Ruin / released 2016) and some older tunes (The Devil Makes Three / released 2002). The trio’s harmonious vocals were paired with the twang of a stand up bass (Lucia Turino), guitar (Pete Bernhard), and Banjo (Cooper McBean), simultaneously complemented by a guest fiddler and percussionist. The crowd swayed in response to some of my favourites: “Old Number Seven,” “Hallelu,” and “Graveyard” to name a few. This performance put bluegrass hot on 987’s radar!
The musical and cultural impression of The Devil Makes Three is less reflective of their home state, California, and more so of South Carolina. Similarly, the atmosphere felt less like Vancouver and more like…let’s say…Vernon? The Devil Makes Three brought out the down-to-earth side of the Vancouver music scene and the crowd clearly adored the opportunity to appreciate some simply and impeccably performed old-time country music. Here’s to The Devil Makes Three for broadening our musical horizons, and showing us a damn good time.
Review: Allison Bridges
Photos: Jahmal Cooper
There are live performances, and then there’s live entertainment. Vintage Trouble‘s entertainment factor – the band’s energy, incredible musical talent, and raw connection with the crowd – made this weekend’s show at The Rickshaw Theatre remarkable. The audience, spurred on by lead singer, Ty Taylor, jived its way through the set-list from the first bluesy note to the last rocking chord. Taylor’s unwavering oomph, complemented by guitarist Nalle Colt, bassist Rick Barrio Dill, and drummer Richard Danielson, led to an unexpectedly astounding show full of dips, swings, handstands, dives, and twirls. The singer also skipped rope with the mic cord, crowd-surfed while belting out powerful vocals, and got every viewer to high-five a stranger.
The L.A. band formed in 2010, and has since gained international acclaim while opening for bands including The Who, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and Lenny Kravitz, among many more. This was Vintage Trouble’s first headlining show in Vancouver, and its strong fan-base in Hollywood North was utterly apparent.
From a six-minute instrumental in which every band member played a solo, to a collaboration with their opening act, Desi Valentine (a powerhouse heartthrob in his own right), the hour-and-a-half performance shook with every note. Beyond rock and rhythm and blues, the band is hard to classify; the shows are a bit of everything, and the tunes are sometimes difficult to label. What isn’t hard to see is the soul that they pour onto the stage, and the spillover that flows into the crowd’s feet.
All in all, Vintage Trouble’s performance, rounded with songs like “Run Like the River”, “Pelvis Pusher”, and “Nancy Lee”, was a refreshing take on a classic style. Gotta be 5/5 pinstriped suits, and a recommendation to check ‘em out.
Review + Photos: Lindsay Bell