The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Weakerthans put on one great show

By Joey Mayer

Canadian folk-rockers the Weakerthans are finally back on the road, and this time they are venturing out of Canada. The popular Winnipeg quartet disappeared from the indie music scene after releasing the album “Reconstruction Site” in 2003. Now, after a four-year hiatus, the Weakerthans are touring in support of their new album “Reunion Tour,” released on Sept. 25, equipped with a new band member and a more mature sound. Famous for catchy rock driven by emotionally intricate and clever lyrics, the band has gathered a dedicated following in Canada and throughout the Midwestern United States. The first stop on their 2007 world-tour: Minneapolis’s Triple Rock Social Club, an intimate venue filled with funky art and a perfect fit for the band’s prairie-town feel. The show in Minneapolis coincided with the new album’s release; fans were able to buy the new album the very day of its release at the concert. By the time the Weakerthans took the stage, the venue was completely packed and the band took the stage to a deafening round of applause.They kicked off the sold-out set with bluesy “Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call,” using the song to get back into the swing of playing live. The band’s delivery was a little tense, but the audience’s response was overwhelmingly supportive, and by the end of the song the band members were smiling- it was clear that they were happy to be back on stage. Frontman John K. Sampson joked with the audience before playing an old favorite that he was worried he had forgotten how to play the song. The band goofed around with each other and with audience members throughout the whole set; the show felt like it was more of a jam session than the band’s first concert in four years.

The crowd got into the show immediately and the audience sang along with every song. The band encouraged the audience to take part in the show and new and old fans alike joined in. When Sampson came back for his encore and played “One Great City!,” arguably the band’s most beloved song, his voice was almost drowned out by the crowd’s contribution and the effect was powerful. The show brought the crowd together and audience members left feeling that they had been part of an intimate live performance with the band.

The band played songs from their first two albums and also unveiled some new tracks from “Reunion Tour,” including “Virtue the Cat Explains Her Departure,” sequel to the catchy and clever “Plea from a Cat Named Virtue.” By the end of the show, the band had fired up the crowd to such an extent that the audience cheered for almost fifteen minutes before the band returned to play an encore.

Their folksy sound and charmingly modest stage antics proved why fans waited four years to hear a new album and to see their beloved Weakerthans on tour again. If the amazing show at the Triple Rock Social Club is any indicator, the rest of the tour will be a huge success and fans will not be disappointed by the new album.

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