LMF Concert Review: The Pawn Shop LiftersMay 21st, 2012 at 1:25 pm by Kyle Bloom under THRS Live Music
After the overwhelmingly great feedback I received after the Luau review (THANK YOU), I thought it was about that time that I did another LMF Concert Review. This time around instead of heading to one of the major venues, I decided to head out to one of the great places to witness a fantastic local show: The Belmont House Of Smoke. Their small stage, brick wall and window backdrop provide for a great setting for local bands to showcase their signature tunes. Tonight’s lineup featured Rodeo Clown, Crissy Babe & The Dastards and headliner, The Pawn Shop Lifters. So let’s get started!
I arrived to the Belmont around 9:15p and headed right up the stairs to a packed bar. Always a good sign. Rodeo Clown was up first. Former Candy Snatchers’ drummer Collyn Coates leads this 4 piece into a slice of good ole’ backstreet country. Whisky-soaked guitar licks of Greg Wikle got the crowd warmed up for a night of boot-stompin’ and PBR sluggin’ honky tonk. They finished their set with a stellar cover of The Rolling Stones’ Sweet Virginia. It’s always risky to attempt anything of Exile on Main St. but the boys pull it off.
After a pretty quick break, Crissy Babe & The Dastards went next up on the bill. Led by Crizti Walsh of 96x’s The Local Music Show, this band came to play. You knew you weren’t in for a typical guitar slingin’ Americana roots set when Walsh plugged in her ukelele but you did know you were in for a treat. Walsh’s soulful voice and playful lyrics got the crowd singing along and Matt Katherman’s animalistic drum beats kept the crowd on it’s dancing toes. It was my first time seeing them and it definitely won’t be my last.
On deck was the main event: The Pawn Shop Lifters. This trio knows how to put on a show. It’s starts off with a funny little movie line from bassist Jeff Pierce’s iPod, the crowd gets a laugh before a brass knuckle punch to the gut from singer/guitar slinger Wendell Johnson’s Les Paul. That punch lets us know that these guys mean business. They describe their sound as ‘outlaw country’ and that is spot one. Alan Felder bonzo-esque drum beats and Jeff’s no nonsense bass lines compliments Johnson’s Nashville twangy vocals. The trio blazed through an hour long set that featured cuts from their 2008 EP, Whisky Lane and it’s followup LP, Rifle & Flask along with brand new tracks from their newly released Seven Songs Of Sam. The only complaint of the show goes to the crowd. They seemed to just disappear once PSL hit the stage and that’s a shame. They missed an awesome set by a true Hampton Roads gem. Maybe they were too scared to get that knuckle in the gut.