The Weakerthans / Lucero / Murder By Death - Live in Providence (Cover Artwork)

The Weakerthans / Lucero / Murder By Death

Live in Providence (2004)

live show

Who would have thought that country western would be the newest hipster craze? I seriously saw about five people weaning cowboy boots, no hats though. Anyways, the venue was much more crowded than I expected it to be in Providence on a Wednesday night, especially since the tour would be in Cambridge the next day.

On to the bands, only three played which in a way was kind of nice. Murder By Death was up first. I had heard a few songs from them before but it was nothing that impressed me too much and after the first song, I still wasn't very impressed. I felt that they had way too much going on at once and the mix wasn't sounding all that great either. I guess the band really got their shit together after that because I found myself really enjoying the rest of their set. I've heard people describe their sound as some sort of weird soundtrack to a western (going along with tonight's theme) or horror movie. That seems fairly accurate to me, especially since that seemed to be what most of the songs were about; you know, zombies and whiskey. Also, for one song the singer played a flame shaped guitar, it was pretty awesome looking.

Lucero has been a band on my "to see" list ever since hearing last year's wonderful That Much Further West. They did not disappoint me in the least despite the fact that the played drunker than…well pretty much any band I've ever seen (and yes, that includes the Lawrence Arms). The bassist from Murder By Death even brought them a round of shots, presumably of whiskey, halfway through the set. I was actually not familiar with most of the songs they played; they didn't have a set list and initially wanted to see how many songs of theirs about drinking they could play in a row. You can probably guess that's a lot. The band sounded absolutely great though, especially an amazingly strong vocal performance that I didn't think would hold up as well live. They also played their masterful version of Jawbreaker's Kiss the Bottle like it was their own. I will definitely be checking out more of their older material after seeing this set. A lot of people seem to have reservations about country music, just remember it doesn't all sound like Toby Keith. Lucero is worth a listen no matter what no matter what you normally like.

Finally, it was time for the Weakerthans. Despite being a huge fan, I had previously never had a chance to see them live, but of course I had heard great things. Once again, I was not disappointed. I was afraid certain songs would translate as well live, but everything sounded perfect. The band was also more energetic than I expected them to be, especially the new bassist. They played with (not sure if they always do) a keyboardist who seemed slightly unnecessary, but it really didn't have an effect on the performance one way or the other. The set list was a bit Reconstruction Site heavy, but I can't really complain about that as I think it's their best album. A few more older songs would have been nice, and they were actually planned for the encore but I guess it got too late. It's a shame they take so long in between albums, but hopefully it only means more touring. This was easily one of the best shows I've seen all year.

SETLIST: (not in order, but I'm pretty sure complete)
Our Retired Explorer
Psalm for the Elk's Lodge
Reconstruction Site
Plea from a Cat Named Virtue
(a new song?)
Left and Leaving
The Reasons
Uncorrected Proofs
Confessions of a Futon Revolutionist
Elegy for Elsabet
One Great City! (encore)