The Weakerthans / onelinedrawing / Motion City Soundtrack

The Weakerthans / onelinedrawing / Motion City Soundtrack: live in Ann Arborlive in Ann Arbor (2003)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Let me preface this by saying never again will I ever take this long of a road trip for a band. I live roughly 6 hours from Ann Arbor, MI, but some of my Chicagoan friends were interested in attending this show, and who am I to turn down an invitation to rock? Little did I know that I would essent.

Let me preface this by saying never again will I ever take this long of a road trip for a band. I live roughly 6 hours from Ann Arbor, MI, but some of my Chicagoan friends were interested in attending this show, and who am I to turn down an invitation to rock? Little did I know that I would essentially be driving or riding in a car from 1:45-10:15pm Tuesday night, then midnight-9am Wednesday morning. Things that factored into this incredibly long trip included being stuck in Chicago's rush hour [both evening *and* morning], incredibly terrible weather leaving town [including tornado warnings pretty much surrounding us], and our driver having outstanding speeding tickets in both Illinois and Indiana, thereby putting the kibosh on speeding until we got to the Michigan border.

Anyway, we finally arrived at the Blind Pig to hear applause coming from inside. Yep, after all of that driving, we missed opening band [and personal favs] Motion City Soundtrack. Luckily, a fellow pn.o user, Anthony Ciatti [known as CaptainCrunch here on the site] was in attendance, and sent the following report in about their performance:

"Motion City soundtrack took the stage and got the party started in the most powerful way. For those who don't know about Motion City Soundtrack, they are an up-beat rock band that fuses moog power with fast-paced guitar and great vocal stylings. When they are on stage you get the feeling that they really enjoy being up there, all five guys are totally into the music and the crowd feeds off of it. Bottom line, it's a dance party. They played a good portion of "I Am the Movie" and ??new' songs "Capital H" and "Autographs and Apologies" off the upcoming re-release of the album on Epitaph. They closed with "Cambridge" and everyone was rocking out to a great half-hour of music. I felt like I got my 10 bucks worth and the evening had barely even begun. Actually, seeing MCS live is worth a lot more than 10 measly dollars, they rock a lot more than 10 dollars should buy, even for an abbreviated set.

I had the chance to speak with guitarist Josh Cain before the show, and he was both excited and little nervous over the upcoming re-release of "I Am The Movie" on Epitaph. Before, the band had been selling CD's at shows and through mail order out of his apartment. Now they are on a solid label in Epitaph. He said he actually enjoys playing the same songs over and over every night, and doesn't dread touring off of basically the same album that they have been touring off of for almost a year already. When asked about the possible success that having the album on Epitaph will bring, Cain said "I'm not even thinking about it" and added that he would rather build a fanbase gradually rather than have a sudden smash-hit that would propel them into fame the same way that recent tourmates The All-American Rejects are experiencing. Speaking of the re-release, it will feature all of the songs from the original sans "1000 Paper Cranes", plus 3 new songs and "Capital H" from the split with Schatzi and will come out June 24th."

Okay, now back to me. I [and my three beautiful female companions - it's a perk of the job] settled in to watch Jonah and his Onelinedrawing perform for the audience. Now I had never actually heard or seen OLD before, but I am familiar with Jonah's other two bands, Far and New End Original. So I was pleasantly surprised to see him do covers of songs by both bands ["Mother Mary" and "Lukewarm," respectively]. Jonah also performed OLD stuff by himself as well as with a full band. His humor and witty way of stopping midsong to explain lyrics was full on tonight, and I really enjoyed his 45-minute set, which seemed to just fly by. Jonah further blew the minds of the audience by covering the Deftones classic "Be Quiet and Drive." It was good. I came away from his set saying to myself that I really need to see this guy again [and pick up some of his CDs, too].

And now, onto the main event. The Weakerthans took the small stage to virtually no fanfare and launched right into "Pamphleteer" which garnered many a cheer from the audience before kicking it into high gear with "Aside." From that point on, I was swept into a brilliant dance with John K. Samson that lasted for over an hour. I, like probably every other person in attendance, felt like I was the only one watching, seeing this amazing band play these wonderfully crafted songs strictly for my private enjoyment. The Weakerthans have that affect on people, I suppose.

The band's set, while covering plenty of tracks off "Left and Leaving" and even a few off "Fallow," contained a good handful of tracks off their upcoming album "Reconstruction Site." Tracks I remember them announcing include "Psalm For The Elks Lodge Last Call," "Plea From A Cat Named Virtue," "Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michel Foucault In Paris, 1961)," and "Prescience Of Dawn" [which was billed as their "metal" song]. Overall, most of the newer stuff seems to have a much poppier slant and much of it was more upbeat, especially the single ["Our Retired Explorer"], but they all still contain Samson's eloquent lyricism, especially the song about the cat.

So overall, was it worth sitting seeing both the sunset and the subsequent sunrise to go to this show? Well, I dunno. Maybe had I gotten to see Motion City Soundtrack. As it stands right now, no more road trips to Ann Arbor, ever.


But the Weakerthans weren't playing anywhere closer, so you gotta do what you gotta do.

[this is out of order and incomplete - it's as best as I can remember 2 days later]
Psalm For The Elks Lodge Last Call [new song]
This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open
Plea From A Cat Named Virtue [new song]
Left and Leaving
Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michel Foucault In Paris, 1961) [new song]
None Of The Above
Prescience Of Dawn [new song]
Wellington's Wednesdays
Without Mythologies [end of set]
My Favorite Chords [encore]


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (June 5, 2003)

Uh..I was at this show and they ended with a drive like jehu cover.. I thought everyone knew that.

Anonymous (June 5, 2003)

new end is on (most likely permanent) hiatus. i missed those cali shows, which totally bums me out because i'll probably never get to see them again. ah well. anyways, jonah's new band is called "gratitude", and it's with some guy who i've never heard of but everyone else seems to love, though i can't recal his name. he'll still be doing onelinedrawing, but now he's going to keep it to small shows, which is how it should be.

sloppyblake (June 4, 2003)

when exactly did new end original break up? they did 2 shows in california in january.... i was at one of them...

thats so odd. and live he said he was doing another record with another band soon. so i'm assuming it's new end.

but i might be wrong?

Anonymous (June 3, 2003)


foot planted firmly in mouth now...

I called my friend whom I went with and he told me I was running to the car to grab his camera when "Withouth Mythologies" was being played...

I am a fool...

as those crazy canadians say "sworry" (in thick canadian accent)


Anonymous (June 3, 2003)

I hate Ann Arbor and I don't really like the Weaker thans either.

Anonymous (June 2, 2003)

you danced with a guy? fag.

maverick (June 2, 2003)

Jim, I just checked the liner notes, and I named the right song. They closed their set [before their encore] with "Without Mythologies." You must've been in the bathroom or something.


maverick (June 2, 2003)

Wait a sec, Jim-
Isn't "Without Mythologies" the song about being a "river with angry rapids" and stuff? With the drums being played with mallets, and there's no bass? I know that was their last song, I thought that was what it was called...


Anonymous (June 2, 2003)

hum....I was at this show (and I thought my 3 hour drive to ann arbor was bad) and unfortunatly the Weakerthans did NOT play Without Mythologies....

It would have been nice seeing how it is one of my 3 favorite Weakerthans songs, but they must have skipped that one on the setlist...

still, the weakerthans moved me more than any live band has done before...I just wish I had the new album in my hands right now *sigh* The new songs were excellent!

MCS was alright....nothing special, although they did rock out...

and Jonah...he seemed like a really nice guy....the two far covers and the NEO cover was rocking as well...

I'd score this show an 11, but apparently this rating system doesn't have the extra boast it needs...


KirbyPuckett (June 1, 2003)

Alright I'm a little pissed that Onelinedrawing wasn't at the show here in Pittsburgh...Instead we got the female fronted Denali and although she's rather pretty the music didn't do much for me. However, I could sit through a million boring bands (or Limp Bizkit) just to see Motion City Soundtrack!!! Holy shit was my ass rocked by those guys! I've been to a couple of good shows lately but DAMN! I also developed a brand new liking for the Weakerthans. I always thought they were just an average band, but after seeing them live things have changed.

- Scott
(I'm the only one in Pittsburgh that's ever heard of MCS)

Anonymous (May 31, 2003)

i live in the ace deuce,it sux

Anonymous (May 31, 2003)

Weakerthans AND onelinedrawing? i wish that show was coming here. but at least i get to see jonah again in 2 months.

Kurt_F (May 31, 2003)

Whoa. This review made me happy or something. First of all, I love Jonah. And the only song I like from the Deftones besides "Change" is "Be Quiet and Drive." I LOVE that song, and now that you mention that Jonah co-wrote it, it does kinda sound like a Far song. Whoa. Anyways, good times. On another note, MCS is um, really good live.

Anonymous (May 31, 2003)

The Weakerthans also played "Reconstruction Site" and "The Reasons", both off of their upcoming album.

Anonymous (May 30, 2003)

i'd kill to see jonah and mcs in the same place on the same night...great review

Anonymous (May 30, 2003)

Samson's lyrics are some of the best I've ever read. Anyone agree?

KirbyPuckett (May 30, 2003)

I'll be at this little shindig tomorrow evening, alone! So if anyone from the wonderful Pittsburgh area is going to be in attendance, please stop by and say hello...thanks.

- Scott
(Super Market Fantasy)

travis (May 30, 2003)

its nice to see that the weakerthans have started playing my favorite chords again. the 4 times ive seen them, theyve left it off the setlist.

scott, the day that you get their new CD (which im sure will be weeks before everyone else), let me know. burnt copy what.

Anonymous (May 30, 2003)

jonah is fucking great. he puts on such a good show everytime i see him. i especially enjoy the fact that he plays whatever people request.

maverick (May 30, 2003)

To sloppyblake:

Sorry to break it to you, but New End Original is dead. It was just as much Norm's baby as Jonah's, so it's never going to happen again.

Besides, they weren't even that good, I'd much rather get a Far reunion.

And to the anonymous guy below me - I had no idea Jonah co-wrote that song. I did know him and Chino are good friends, though. They went to high school together.

Anonymous (May 30, 2003)

Jonah co-wrote "Be Quiet and Drive". He and Chino are good buds. Download the Deftones doing the Sade song "No Ordinary Love" to hear jonah and chino sing together, it's awesome.

sloppyblake (May 30, 2003)

so why is jonah wasting his time in onelinedrawing and delaying another new end original record? and i know he just started another band too. get a clue.

CaptainCrunch (May 30, 2003)

MCS was worth the price of admission alone, the place was way too packed to really enjoy myself after that.

I had never heard anything by oneline and the weakerthans but I was impressed by both of their performances. The problem I had was that if MCS is going to open for someone and completely rock out, the bands coming on after them should at least come close to matching their intensity. It was just a little bland hearing the other two bands after MCS just ripped, kinda put me to sleep. I would defintiely check them out, though, they were both excellent.

Scott, it was great to meet you, and if anyone else from the site comes to the Detroit area drop me a line.

And Ann Arbor is one of the best places I have ever been to - GO BLUE

This score is for MCS

-Captain Crunch

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