Live Reviews

The Weakerthans – Live


It’s surprising that the Scala is visibly not sold out tonight, given that the Weakerthans did manage to sell out the bigger LA2 only last year. Last year’s ‘Reunion Tour‘ album was arguably one of the finest records of 2007, so it’s a shame that the band have yet to enjoy wider recognition beyond their (admiitedly devoted) cult following on these shores.

First support duties go to none other than their touring keyboard player, Christine Fellows. Her minimalist approach divides the crowd somewhat; but her combination of amusing stories and folk/cabaret piano melodies keeps a healthy-sized crowd enchanted. New York’s Dawn Landes proves somewhat less interesting, with a clutch of pleasant country-orientated songs that get a few toes tapping, but ultimately fail to leave much of a lasting impression.

Truly, the Weakerthans are the antithesis of style over substance. Much like, say, Jimmy Eat World, what you get with the Canadian quartet is little more than a bunch of regular guys playing some songs – but brilliant songs at that. The size of the crowd matters little, as it’s clear that most of them are diehard fans, who euphorically greet the punchy pop rock of ‘Aside’, and sing along to the sarcastically humorous ‘One Great City‘ with such fervour that singer/guitarist John K. Samson can barely keep a straight face. With a ninety-minute set that includes two encores, and nary a weak link in their folk-punk chain, it’s safe to say that the Weakerthans remain a great reason to leave your house on a drab Monday evening.

Alex Gosman