[REVIEW] Devil Makes Three w/ The Cave Singers | 10.31.14 @ Marathon Music Works

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Devil Makes Three w/ The Cave Singers
Marathon Music Works; Nashville, TN
October 31, 2014

Words by: Jacob Ryan (@GonzoWithGusto

With temperatures that felt more like winter than fall, this past weekend was the perfect weekend to be inside, warm and toasty, jamming out to some live music. Lucky for everyone, even by Music City standards, the lineups were outrageously awesome. Besides the Foos at Ryman … which if you were able to attend, we are truly jealous … there were great perfomances all over town! It’s been fun talking to friends about what we missed, and sharing our own stories along the way.

Find one such yarn below, when newgrass pickers Devil Makes Three, and indie folksters The Cave Singers haunted Marathon Music Works on Halloween night. Of course spooky, costumed fans were a given, but there was nothing scary about the music. Both bands showed out, and the rowdy revilers were hanging on every note. Click on to read about what you missed, and be sure to catch both bands, whenever they stop in town next.

Within minutes of entering the venue, when it came to costumes, I’d seen a little bit of everything: zombies, a giant chicken, the Ghostbusters, Clark Kent, at least three Jesuses, Elvira, Cap’n Crunch, Buzz Lightyear, a couple as Cheech (her) and Chong (him), Grapes, drag queens, Sims, Little Red Ridinghood, Cousin Eddie (of Christmas Vacation fame) and a Robert Plant look alike so convincing, I had to introduce myself just to make sure it wasn’t really him. Halloween Eve is always an interesting night to be out and about.

My timing had been perfect, getting inside and in line for beer as the first band, The Cave Singers, swaggered onto stage dressed as the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Having known little more than what I read in their bio, I was immediately impressed. Their sound was folky at times, but more indie rock than anything. Singer Pete Quirk has a Three Dog Night quality to his voice, like a slightly younger, much more American version of David Grey. They would jam out at times with ambient guitar riffs, but then bring it right back to folk/Americana on the next number, with acoustic guitar and a washboard.

They were extremely likeable too, talking it up with crowd a little here and there during breaks in the action. By the end of their set, it seemed the hoodlums prancing about in all manner of costume were starting to get legitimately drunk. I’ve seen bigger crowds at Marathon before, but the people who were there, were definitely trying to tie one on. As a result, the energy was much higher than it would have been. There’s something about the holidy that brings out the best in boozing.

Without much delay, the headliners were tuned, miced and ready to roll. After opening for big name acts like Willie Nelson, and rocking out smaller stages at Bonnaroo, The Devil Makes Three have developed a strong (approaching cult) following, and four lines into the first song, it was obvious the fan club has a Nashville chapter. People all around seemed to know every lyric, even the stuff off the newest album I’m a Stranger Here, and most hippie-danced around the half full venue like men and women possessed by spirits.

The band opted out of costumes, other then multi-instrumentalist Cooper McBean, who had a kid’s cereal box cut-out style dinosaur mask on over half his face. Honestly, watching them perform was enough; they didn’t need to dress anything up. Their strumming/plucking on the up-beat songs was fast and furious. My fingers and wrist ached from just watching them keep their often break-neck speed. The pace and rhythm were mind blowing. The dance friendly, old timey/bluegrass inspired tunes kept people grooving damn near till midnight, and their smiles beamed the entire time. It was obvious they were having just as much fun as us.

“This is the biggest show we’ve ever played in Nashville,” lead singer/guitarist Pete Berhard said. “Thanks for sharing it with us! Who would want to see the Foo Fighters anyway?” He added with a sarcastic, but well intended chuckle.

Of course we couldn’t all fit into the Ryman, which had sold out in minutes, but DM3 were much more than an adequate substitute for Dave Grohl and his minions. Next time the former are in town, we just hope that there isn’t as much going on, so they can possibly sell out a show themselves.

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