The Devil Makes Three Come Full Circle with Sold Out Show at the Fox Theater

The Fox Theater was bustling with excitement as The Devil Makes Three are no strangers to Northern California, having resided in Santa Cruz while playing many intimate shows at places like the Mystic Theater and Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. They’ve even played Henflings- a notorious biker bar in Felton with a maximum occupancy of about a hundred people. They’re loyal to the bone but have surprisingly kept their fans at bay over the last year, possibly letting their record resonate with their fans. This was the first full tour supporting their newest record and their first performance in the bay since 2013’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and 2014’s special New Years gigs at the Fillmore and The Catalyst, respectively.

The response was overwhelming as the band plunged right in to their extensive set, starting with their first single “Stranger” from I’m a Stranger Here. People from all likes were singing along to the chorus- “I’m a stranger here just like you.” The realization that this band is in the midst of astounding popularity became very real, even to Pete Bernhard, who at one point pronounced “I feel like I’m having an outer body experience.” There couldn’t be a better band to root for, as these guys have played vehemently since their inception in 2002. And they only get better and better live, appeasing old and new fans by always  playing the songs that everyone wants to hear.

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The backdrop was set up with three giant illuminated eyes that grace the cover of I’m a Stranger Here. Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino and Cooper McBean owned the stage and at times were joined by a cellist and a fiddle player during various songs, adding an extra layer to an already big sound. Their musicianship is incredible for a three piece band without a drummer to hold the rhythm, but who needs a drummer when you have hundreds of people stomping their feet against the ground, creating a human bass drum effect that vibrates through the floor boards.

Forever grateful and never lacking praise for his fans and friends, Pete gave a brief history lesson about their relationship with the beautifully remodeled Fox Theater. “When this place reopened, we opened for Social Distortion,” he explained. “So we may have been the first band to play here.” While that’s an incredible feat in it’s own right, headlining to a rowdy sold out crowd was probably more gratifying. Hopefully it’s a little while longer before they start rocking Arena’s across the country, for anyone who’s seen them at a modest venue knows it’s an experience fueled by boot stomping, dancing and whiskey that leaves you with a raspy voice and a handful of amazing memories.

Set List

Stranger

Beneath the Piano

The Bullet

All Hail

Statesboro Blues

40 Days

Gracefully Facedown

The Johnson Family

Hallelu

Tow

Spinnin Like a Top

Black Irish

Graveyard

A Moments Rest

Old Number 7

For Good Again

Dead Body Moving

Worse or Better

Aces and Twos

Do Wrong Right

Encore

Ten Feet Tall

Check out my interview with Pete Bernhard through Sf Station

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