The Weakerthans
Live At Burton Cummings Theatre


4.5
superb

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
March 22nd, 2010 | 128 replies | 13,934 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When an artist’s music translates well to a live format, it’s impressive. When the music is so spectacular that this "live" aspect hardly matters due to the music itself being so overwhelmingly superb, we call that phenomenon The Weakerthans.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

“Reconstruction Site” is pretty damn close to being one of my favorite songs of all-time. The intricate, witty lyrics, the personal and interesting story lines; they have all become commonplace for fans of The Weakerthans that rejoice in John Samson’s homeyness. It all erupts in an endearing volcano of a song that spews volatile line after line of lovability. While “Reconstruction Site” in particular holds more than a little personal meaning, the same said adjectives can be applied to a hefty portion of The Weakerthans’ deep repertoire. As the brainchild of former Propagandhi bassist John Samson, The Weakerthans have always managed to throw the sharp lyricism of punk music into a blender with romantic, folky tunes to complement that sound more genuine and candid than just about any other band. A bit of an exaggeration, maybe, but it’s unbelievably difficult not to be affected by the twangs and one-liners that Samson cooks up with ease and delivers promptly.

To be blunt, the track listing for Live At Burton Cumming’s Theatre couldn’t possibly be better. With such a vast array of songs that would be fitting for a live DVD, one would assume that some would be left out. Only four albums in, and The Weakerthans already have more than enough solid material to fill an 18-track live DVD. Each respective album is well-represented. The biographical gist of Reconstruction Site, the more energetic side of Left and Leaving, and the slower drawl of Reunion Tour are all present and balanced to form a spectacular hybrid of sorts. A very self-aware attitude obviously formed the superb track listing, as The Weakerthans’ impressive is given its’ due. While fans may remain somewhat divided on what constitutes The Weakerthans’ opus, the band clearly hit the nail on the head when including the best of four worlds on Live At Burton Cumming’s Theatre.

However, while the track listing is certainly enticing, the real treat lies with The Weakerthans’ performance. The sense of flow on Live At Burton Cummings Theatre is difficult to achieve and even more difficult to deny, reminiscent of a well-seasoned band, masters of their domain. Placing a few lively fan-favorites near the beginning like “Night Windows” and “Tournament of Hearts” (from Reunion Tour), certainly pays off, as it becomes easy to see the crowd getting more comfortable with the band from Winnipeg. With that said, Samson himself isnʼt the most lively of performers, as exemplified by his uncomfortable response to a moment after the beautiful “Aside”, when he begins to take off his button-up in favor of a tee, drawing unce-unce-unceʼs from the back of the crowd. It’s obvious he would much rather get back to playing the catchy, Canada tunes he’s known for and with the opening strums of “Civil Twilight” directly afterwards, Samson gets his wish.

Safe to say, the audience/artist interaction isn’t the real treasure (words only happen to be Samson’s strong point when he’s singing), but rather the intimate display is. Combined with the insightful lyrics, the intimate setting in which the band thrives is an absolute gem. The Weakerthans’ tales (specifically, ones told from the perspective of Samson’s insightful cat) and heartfelt stories only add to the subtle yet powerful atmosphere that Samson thrives on. The Weakerthan’s fail to miss a note throughout, and the effects shouldn’t go unnoticed as Samson’s words gain a breath of new life. The quality of Live At Cumming’s Burton Theatre extends beyond The Weakerthan’s playing each song note-for-note, it ends up as a culmination of a discography that’s difficult to rival in today’s music.



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user ratings (48)
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Adam Knott EMERITUS (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
bungy
March 22nd 2010



8843 Comments


That's a bold strategy.

SeaAnemone
March 22nd 2010



18753 Comments


this is better than Ke$ha


also, thanks to Kirgasm, helped me edit this from being entirely fanboyish to slightly fanboyish... I owe ya one.

NeutralThunder12
March 22nd 2010



8742 Comments


hey Eric, nice review. I know this is a live CD but on a side note I simply cannot get into this band.

joshuatree
Emeritus
March 22nd 2010



3743 Comments


ugh i really need to get this

good review, check for typos in that first paragraph

SeaAnemone
March 22nd 2010



18753 Comments


thanks guys-

Neutral: yr probly just listnin wrong

joshua: I found 2, thanks, I hope that's all

Enotron
March 22nd 2010



7695 Comments


You really should be promoted to contributor, dude.

SeaAnemone
March 22nd 2010



18753 Comments


thanks Enotron I appreciate the kind words! : ) I can't take full credit for this though, Kirgas helped me out a ton

Tulannical
March 22nd 2010



2051 Comments


will check this out since left & leaving and reconstruction site are so good

Ponton
Emeritus
March 22nd 2010



5775 Comments


Yeah, this review is kickin man.

Yet to listen to any weakerthans yet.

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

SeaAnemone
March 22nd 2010



18753 Comments


Yeah, this is honestly absolutely flawless. track listing itself is enough to go crazy for. plus, an order comes with a super-duper Weakerthans shirt.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 22nd 2010



5775 Comments


also agree with eno, you deserve the spot man. I'm trying to get it too, but I think you deserve it more.

SeaAnemone
March 22nd 2010



18753 Comments


haha aww I'm blushing Observer! such a kind thread! and you already know I love your reviews too man! thanks though, that's great to hear from users/reviewers I really respect!


just waiting for chan to come in here soon with enough hostility to go around haha

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2010



30291 Comments


personal and interesting story lines; they’ve have all become


Never checked this band out, but stellar review

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

bloc
March 22nd 2010



34489 Comments


I knoooooooooooow!

You might roll your eyes at this!

But I'm soooooo!

Glad that you exist!

Digging: Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead

SeaAnemone
March 22nd 2010



18753 Comments


nice catch Dev, thanks!

and I'm gonna assume you're talking about yours truly, blocasaurus.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 22nd 2010



5775 Comments


haven't really ever talked to chan, but I know he can be ruthless. Not sure how I've gotten by on this site for so long though without meeting the guy.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2010



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this came in the mail today, i was so very happy :]

probably my favorite band i've decided

YouAreMySilence
March 22nd 2010



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and I cant remember the sound that you found for me.

EVedder27
March 22nd 2010



6088 Comments


Since I love Left and Leaving I'll have to listen to this ASAP

SeaAnemone
March 22nd 2010



18753 Comments


Yeah seriously guys... check this out, if you don't buy the whole DVD combo thing (it's purty expensive) at least check out the CD, it's worth it.



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