Are you ready for some music? I am! Last Monday night at the Hamilton in Washington, DC, I saw, bar none, the absolute BEST live act touring the US. Yes, Low Cut Connie was in town, and so was BRP.
Let me set the baseline. I go to a lot of shows. I probably saw 40 headliners last year, more than that in opening acts, bar bands, cover bands and whatever else is live and electric. I see some sort of live music virtually every week, and have been doing so for years. I’m in Arizona for a wedding and saw two live bands last night, with another one coming on tonight. It’s what I do. Have I seen everyone? No, but I’ve seen many of the reputed great live acts, like the Stones, Springsteen, Chuck Berry, U2, Led Zeppelin, The Who, AC/DC, The Clash, blah blah blah. And many who will never be as heralded but were super-talented live musicians, like NRBQ and the Bottle Rockets.
Without denigrating any of these other bands, Low Cut Connie blows them all away. Why? Well, first, their songs are great – rocking, rollicking tunes that bridge the gap between early rock (think Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry combined with boogie woogie, blues and rockabilly) with modern sensibilities (they tour with a piano named Shondra named after a stripper in Atlanta).
Next, Adam Weiner, the band’s frontman, is a showman extraordinaire. This guy understands that rock shows are not just about playing the songs, they are also about transforming the recorded tracks into high energy and highly entertaining FUN. It’s hard to understate his stage presence, his inventiveness, and on-stage presence. He gets rock ‘n roll unlike many of his peers – he understands its subversivness, its appeal to indiscretion, its joy, its rebellion. And he gleefully plays the part, dressing in jumpsuits or high-waisted pants, and wearing his trademark white socks and black hard-soled shoes. He is all over the stage, and often times off the stage interacting directly with the crowd. With his floppy, curly hair, he could be in every picture taken of early rock ‘n roll heroes.
But this is far from a one-man show. The entire band is fantastic. James Everhart, Will Donnelly, Larry Scotton, and Lucas Rinz are all top flight musicians and entertainers. Scotton, the drummer, is simply ferocious, pounding out rhythms like he is possessed. Will Donnelly is fantastic on guitar – ripping solos and ensuring a great electric sound to the band. Plus, he has a great look, knows how to pose, and gets into the Shondra act, too, by playing on top of the piano and jumping down, all while not missing a note. Lucas Rinz, the bassist, clearly enjoys the heck out of the spectacle that is Weiner, but also never misses a beat, and along with Scotton, combine to form an amazing one-two punch. And James Everhart adds his excellent guitar work with flair and tenacity.
While each is talented and entertaining, the sum is stronger than the parts, and these guys know it. Weiner is all over the place, standing on Shondra while singing, going out into the crowd, playing keyboards on his knees and while standing on the piano bench, pulling out chest hairs and throwing them to the crowd, pointing and smiling, and basically acting like a crazy nut-job, but all the while never forgetting that he is paid to deliver the musical goods. He is hard to take your eyes off of. But you should do so, because behind him the rest of the band is clearly feeding off of his energy and enjoying the heck out of playing with each other. Take a look at the pictures I took: you seldom see bandmates having as much fun as these guys are doing, and you never see a tighter, more focused and more professional rock ‘n roll than this band. There was little time between songs, no interminable “wait while we tune up our instruments,” just ripping from song to song. It’s fantastic.
I love LCC on their recordings, but if you simply listen to those and size up the band, you are doing yourself a disservice. Seldom have I seen a band take their recorded output and simply take it over the top during their live performances. It’s not just volume, either – they throw such passion and vigor into their live set that it’s impossible not to dance and carry on right with the band. And both the crowd and the band feed off of each other.
And this all happened on a Monday night at a show that was not sold out. BRP was right there, front and center, taking pictures, dancing, singing, laughing and simply marveling at the best live set on the road. I took some concert friends to the show, and I had been talking up LCC for weeks before the show. I was a little concerned that I had oversold them and that my friends would be disappointed. What an idiot! LCC delivered and blew us all away. When we were leaving, I told them that someday they will be telling people that they saw LCC back in the day, right up front and interacting with the band, and it will be a boast that makes their friends envious.
If you get the chance to see LCC, do it. Don’t think about staying home. Don’t tell yourself that BRP knows not of what he speaks. Don’t even think “I don’t know any of their songs,” because that doesn’t matter – the music, the performance, the rock ‘n roll experience are second to none! Obviously, I took tons of pictures, but they are just a teaser for the real thing. Nonetheless, they are badass.
There was an opening act with LCC that was worth mentioning, too, and I’ll write them up shortly. And I need to tell you about the Hamilton as a live venue. And with that, dudes and dudettes, I am off. Keep coming back for more and keep the faith.
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.