I’m driving to Union Transfer on Thursday night with a car full of people. We’re all going to see Low Cut Connie. I’m beyond wondering if everyone is going to have fun – that’s guaranteed – but I am beginning to question my own behavior. This is the fifth time I’ve seen LCC in about 18 months, and I’m thinking, what am I doing? Have I lost my own mind and become too much of a fanboy?
Hours later, I emerge from UT. Of course everyone thought LCC was great because they are. More importantly, I was no longer questioning myself. This band is just tremendous barroom fun. They are entertainment par excellence. And there is no guilt in continuing to ride on the LCC bus to rock ‘n roll Valhalla.
I’m not the only one who has hitched a ride. The place was packed, hot and sweaty. And more importantly, the fans knew what they were in for. It was a raucous crowd, the best yet for any of the LCC shows that I’ve seen. They knew the songs, they knew the words, and they were all there, like me, ready to party and have a great time. Is LCC the best bar band out there right now? Certainly, without doubt. But do they have mega-stardom in their future? Who knows and who cares?
All I know is that this band knows how to put on a show. They are super tight. The show still has some looseness to it, but is also much more choreographed (if that’s the right word for it) than it was all those months ago. What are you in for? Adam Weiner is going to strut and preen about the stage, play Shondra on his knees or standing on the piano bench with a leg sticking out, stand on top of Shondra and sing, and go out into the crowd and hug (slime?) people (As Weiner said, it’s a great LCC show where it is a little stinky, and this boy can SWEAT – he got Diana TWICE, hahaha). Will Donnelly is going to climb on top of Shondra and jump off while playing his guitar, a leap that is youthful in its exuberance and rock ‘n roll energy/showmanship, but one that also isn’t going to last forever as it’s too fraught with physical peril. In fact, at this show, he broke his guitar trying to stick the landing, and then wickedly turned and smashed the guitar on the stage. Lucas Rinz is going to jam the bass while smiling the entire show, Larry Scotten will pound the drums and drive the songs forward (he’s a great drummer and everyone knows that you measure a band by the quality of its drummer), and James Everhart will play some great guitar leads and sing his one song.
The show rolls from one tune to the next with stagecraft. Many hours of rehearsals are clearly apparent. In some ways, this is great, but in others, the shows aren’t quite as “anything goes” as they were a few years back. Nonetheless, this band is just marvelously fun and should not be missed. I've turned on at least a dozen people and not one has come away with anything but "that was great!"
LCC is from Philly, and playing before the home crowd is always a good thing. Both the band and the fans were jacking each other up, pushing the show to higher levels. It didn’t hurt that the band had released its latest album, Dirty Pictures (Part II), the day before and was therefore motivated to bring it even more during its live act. And it also didn’t hurt that Adam is becoming a more confident and capable songwriter, thus expanding their repertoire with good new songs. The band always plays covers, but the best tunes of the night are their originals: Boozophilia, Revolution Rock ‘n Roll, Beverly, Shit Shower & A Shave, Shake It Little Tina, Dirty Water, Rio, Angela, Back In School and other rave-ups that are good on vinyl but great when performed live. They did covers of songs by Alex Chilton, Charles Bradley, Harry Nillson and Prince. Wow.
Thursday’s show also featured Saundra Williams, a newer member of the band who has a powerful voice and provides an element to the group that wasn’t there before. She takes some of the pressure off of Adam to deliver vocals throughout the night, and also has a playful manner that she reserves until she is in the spotlight. After all, there is no questioning the star of this show: Adam Weiner is a showman through and through and this is his band and his show. The other guys are great, and they all contribute to the net effect, but Adam is magnetic. It’s hard to take your eyes off of him, but you should because you are missing a lot of other stuff if you only watch Adam.
Here’s another cool thing: I always respect a band that is confident enough to bring along strong opening acts, and LCC continues to do that. The first time I saw them they were playing with Marah, a great live act that is intimidating if you lack the chops to hang with them. Last time it was National Reserve, and on Thursday, there were two strong local openers: TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb and Ceramic Animal.
TJ played their own material, but also tore up Springsteen’s Because The Night. Most of their set was rootsy-blues based music that was appreciated by the crowd. They are a Philly band, too. I love American roots music, and I love the fact these guys are from Philly. They are on the “keep your eye on them” list here at BRP.
And Ceramic Animal brought along a leisure-suit wardrobe look and some very nice original songs. Their music is straight up rock, but not super power-popped. It’s good and tuneful, and they played a nice set. I assume that they are from the Philly area given that their kick drum was sporting a Bucks County Drum logo, but there is little info about them on the web, so I could be wrong.
I know that many people like to skip the openers, and given how many poor acts there are out there, I understand. But once you realize that certain bands bring along a lot of great talent, you show up for everything. That’s LCC – come early, stay until the end, have a wonderful time and get your faith in rock ‘n roll fully restored.
I promised myself to limit the photos for this show, but then went and took a bunch anyway. I can’t help it: I just stand there with my phone’s camera turned on, and blast away when I feel like it. These guys are highly visual and photogenic, so it’s a paradise of posing and fantastic photo ops. Unfortunately, I completely forgot the GoPro, so I have no new videos (go ahead, give me the boo of the week, I deserve it). Here’s a little tidbit from YouTube in its place:
What’s next? Funny you should ask as I had another show in the queue on Saturday night. Whoo boy, does the kid know how to live or what? I’ll write that one up soon. And I have two more things I’m working on. The first is the promised post on the songs that you shouldn’t play at a party, but that get played all the time anyway. That will be a barn burner with some necessary ass-ripping. And the second is a lament on the decline of album cover art and how one regular BRP reader is fighting back. I might even have a Memorial Day post if I can find the time.
I hope you are doing well and that we all finally see some sun – I don’t want to change this blog to BillyRocksSeattle, but man, has this week been the pits or what? I’m ready to start wearing shorts to shows, but the weather just hasn’t been there yet. C’mon, bring on the heat! For you rockers who are with me, give me an AMEN and I’ll see you next time.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.