The Weakerthans @ The Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL

Live Reviews | Sep 29th, 2009

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Date: September 25th 2009
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I have only ever met two types of people in this world, diehard Weakerthan fans and people who have never heard of them. I always felt myself as some sort anomaly because I like them, but I’m not in love with them. I always found it difficult to listen to more than four songs in a row because singer John Samson’s voice is too sweet for my taste. It at times borderlines on whiny no matter how good their albums might be (and they’re damn good). With that said, I walked into Friday night’s show with trepidation. I was more than happy to be proved wrong.

The Weakerthans show at The Bottom Lounge was a dynamic mix of indie-pop and legitimate rock and roll. They began their set with a handful of newer songs from their last two albums, Reunion Tour and Reconstruction Site, before playing what could be there most popular song “Aside” off their sophomore album. That song launched the entire audience into a sing-a-long. Surveying the crowd, it seemed as if the song took them back to their teens or early twenties, as it did for me. With the emo-esque line “In love with love and lousy poetry” everyone’s inner dork came out. Other songs which generated similar audience participation were “Left and Leaving” and “Tinny.” Both were definite highlights.

The Weakerthans closed out their set with two encores and it came as surprised me when I remembered that they only have four albums. There have been far more prolific bands that could not put out the quality show that The Weakerthans did that night. For some, it might not make sense until you’ve taken in an entire show to understand just how good this band is. Without needing to have tour de force songs or being too overly jubilant or buoyant, The Weakerthans work in a way to make you believe that life isn’t so bad after all.


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