Monday, April 30, 2012

Same As It Ever Was… At The Charleston Pour House

Photo from the Pour House Facebook page
by Edwin McCoy 

This past month, The Charleston City Paper released its annual “Best of Charleston” awards that showcase Charleston’s finest local restaurants, bars, clubs, and live music venues.   Charleston residents vote on the food, libations, and entertainment these particular establishments serve up best. The Pour House was voted best live rock music club in 2012, and for good reason. 

The Pour House does a phenomenal job of showcasing great local talent while at the same time drawing huge national touring acts such as Chris Robinson, lead man of Chris Robinson Brotherhood and formerly of the Black Crowes, as well as bands with devout followings like Medeski Martin and Wood and Taj Majal. The venue also hosts up and coming bands such as Deer Tick and Shovels and Rope, just to name a few. Music kicks off early in the evening shortly after six o’clock on the back deck with local acts that span musical genres from bluegrass to jazz funk to Grateful Dead cover bands. The doors open to the main stage indoors at 9 on most nights, and the music and libations continue until the bar closes at 2 a.m.

Attached to The Pour House is El Bohio, a Cuban restaurant with a full bar that serves up traditional Cuban dishes such as Ropa Veja, Fricasse de Pollo, black beans and rice, and a delicious pulled pork and ham pressed Cuban sandwich. There is a newly renovated front deck at El Bohio were you can enjoy the beautiful Charleston weather as well as a mojito, PBR tall boy, or one of the numerous craft beers offered on draft or by the bottle any day of the week. Brunch is also served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Alex and Vanessa Harris run these local establishments and have built the Pour House into Charleston’s premier live music establishment. I highly recommend stopping by and seeing what the area’s best live music venue has to offer.

Photo of Same As It Ever Was from Facebook page
On St. Patrick’s Day, I attended an excellent concert at The Pour House and had an absolutely amazing time.  I was fortunate enough to see Same As It Ever Was, an amazing tribute band dedicated to singing the eclectic and unique music of The Talking Heads.  The band was formed by front man Curtis Gergen in Knoxville six years ago and the current lineup includes his brother Grant on rhythm guitar, lead guitarist Josh Hobbs, bassist Taylor Hiner, drummer Steve Corrigan, percussionist Chad Melton, and keyboardist Rusty Davidson.  Curtis Gergen has an amazing voice and sounds uncannily like David Byrne, the Talking Heads lead singer. The band does an absolutely remarkable job of recreating the sound of the Talking Heads while putting their own personal spin on the songs they play. They play nearly the entire Talking heads catalog ranging from their debut album, Talking Heads: 77, and it’s follow up the next year More Songs about Buildings and Food, to songs from Speaking in Tongues and Little Creatures, albums released at the height of their success in the early and mid-80’s.

The St. Patty’s Day show stayed true to this form and had the crowd in the palm of their hands right from the opening song, one of my personal favorites, “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel,” an up tempo song that got the crowd going and is well known from the Talking Heads CD/DVD Stop Making Sense. They also played numerous other crowd favorites throughout the show such as “Girlfriend is Better,” “The Big Country,” “Road to Nowhere,” “Heaven,” and another personal favorite of mine, “This Must Be the Place.”

The crowd was exceptionally loud and into the show, possibly somewhat due to the amount of adult beverages consumed in honor of St. Patty’s day. Regardless, the atmosphere was electric and the band brought their “A game” and surely lived up to all of the hype I have heard about them. 

The band is always looking to perform their own unique take on classic albums.  For example, on Saturday April 14, the band performed a tribute to The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1991 breakthrough album Blood Sugar Sex Magik. If you missed their last show, there are several other opportunities to catch Same As It Ever Was at The Pour House. I look forward to seeing them branch out a bit in the music they play, and I’m sure they won’t disappoint. I’ll be there, and I hope you will be, too. Here is a video of a Charlotte performance to get you in the mood.  


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