I don’t care what you were doing on Saturday afternoon. I know that if you weren’t watching Low Cut Connie at the first Yards Brewery Brawlerfest in Philly that you weren’t having as much fun as I was. I’ve seen many bands this year, from rock legends to small indie bands. But there is no band out there right now that is as good a live act as LCC.
A bit of background. Low Cut Connie is a Philly-based band led by Adam Weiner. It was co-founded by Dan Finnemore, but as far as I can tell, Finnemore is no longer in the band. Others in LCC are James Everhart, Will Donnelly, Larry Scotton, and Lucas Rinz. They have three albums out, each one a keeper. President Obama has one of their songs, “Boozophilia,” on his iPod. So if you don’t know LCC, that’s bad. The leader of the free world has taken the time from an unusually busy schedule to discover them. What the hell have you been doing?
Yeah, yeah, so what, right? We know that some staffer passed the LCC thing on to Obama to make him look cool. And there are lots of bands out there with solid studio output. But here’s the deal. Translating great albums to the stage, nay, transcending the studio stuff and making it better live, now that’s a rare talent. And LCC has it in spades.
OK, here’s some fun facts to share with your less-enlightened cronies. The band is named after a waitress from Weiner’s boyhood who was named Connie and who wore her outfits, well, low cut. I can imagine the type: better to focus men’s eyes on the attributes that you have, right? And another different thing is that LCC tours with a piano named Shondra (see picture below) that is named after a stripper at an Atlanta club. And they seem to party and drink like mad.
I first heard about them from the boys at SoundOpinions a few years back. I checked out the youtube videos and downloaded the albums. I got hooked on the sound – think Jerry Lee Lewis with some gospel, doo wop and heavy garage rock influences, lots more in-your-face raunch, a post-punk attitude, and a live fast/die young attitude, and that gets you into the ballpark. It’s great stuff, highly recommended.
But the live show was missing for me. As you might recall, I had the chance to see them at the Troc a few weeks back, but accidentally bought tickets to see the Buzzcocks on the same night, and ended up seeing the older band instead. Despite the fun I had seeing Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle one last time, I’m now convinced that I made the wrong choice. And remember, the Buzzcocks are an all-time BRP favorite, and put on a show for the ages that I caught at the old 9:30 Club in DC in the late 80s. To say that I made a mistake in seeing them again is high praise for LCC indeed.
What’s so great about this live act? Well, first off, its danceable music. It’s hard to keep from moving the bones around when these guys are on stage. That’s always a plus. But it’s also Weiner’s infectious stage personality. This guy is a crazyman, playing piano on his knees, standing up on the piano bench while singing or playing the guitar, going out into the crowd, and all the time keeping the songs pumping and the hips grinding. Whatever, he’s spontaneous, interactive, and clearly enjoying every minute of this ride. And he eggs on the rest of the band – they are all into it, too, playing guitar on their backsides, climbing on top of Shondra and letting solos rip, and otherwise bounding about on stage with the confidence of knowing that they are just kicking ass.
Did the crowd appreciate it? Those who were smart enough to pull themselves away from playing cornhole or sitting by the fire pits were clearly enjoying the hell out it. But most of the people at Brawlerfest were millenials drawn by the all-you-can-drink-for-one-low-price ethos. I know that feeling of getting my alcohol money’s worth all too well, but damn, even when I was a young crazy drunk, I always went to see the live music, too. And with this demonic act on stage, it made me worry about the future of the country.
I’m not going to bore you with the names of the songs that LCC played. Instead, I’ll link to a youtube version of Boozophilia that is part live show, part stage video. It gives a clue of what it’s like to see these guys grooving live. Here we go:
Oh, and of course, I took lots of pictures. Sorry if I overdose you here, but I was right up front, and it was daylight so I got lots of great shots. Check out the outfit that Weiner is wearing: no-sleeved jumpsuit with white socks, hahaha. And of course, at the very end, a picture of the queen herself, Shondra.
I’ll be back with one more review from Brawlerfest. Another great Philly band, Marah, was the headliner, and they, too, tore it up. No offense to Marah, who are terrific live, but LCC was the highlight of the day, and I thought they were worthy of their own review. Check back soon for more BRP, and enjoy the day knowing that your fair city is the home of rock ‘n roll’s best live act going right now.
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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.