Night 2 of the Weakerthan's 4 & More tour featured their second album, Left And Leaving played in order, start to finish. When I bought tickets for this and the other shows back in July, I knew this was the show I wanted to see for sure. Left And Leaving is my favourite Weakerthans record and though the first album was filled with great songs, the second album is the one that took the band to the next level. They gained much national coverage and attention south of the border with this record as the songs were even better and the songwriting was stronger. A good mix of rockers and slower songs, I was reminded at this show how the range of the band grew and continues to grow with each new record.
The venue for night 2 was the West End Cultural Centre, a larger room than the Albert, but still an intimate space. One of the things I noticed was how cozy and comfortable this room is. The WECC was renovated almost 2 years ago, they added a small balcony with seats towards the back, the stage is bigger and the floor now had carpet (I don't think it did before?) and the room is clean and well cared for by the staff and volunteers that operate the place. Depending on the anticipated size of the crowd, the room is set up with either chairs and tables, chairs only or no chairs with standing only. Most of the bigger name shows are standing only and the sardine-crush to the front of the stage is always a claustrophobic experience. I positioned myself in the sweet spot, pressed record and stood back and embraced the sweet sounds of the Weakerthans and I definitely reached some kind of euphoria bliss. I thought back to the first time I saw the band live and it was here at the West End. They were one of the opening bands (along with Paper Moon) for the Bonaduce's CD release show back in 1998. During this show, the Weakerthans tried out some new songs that would eventually end up on the Left And Leaving record, so in some ways this album was coming full circle, if that makes any sense. Come to think of it, I recorded that show in 98 and it's interesting to hear the progression and evolution of a song from before it's even recorded to 12 years later after the band has probably played many of these songs hundreds of times.
My daughter and wife accompanied me to the show and they both enjoyed seeing the band up close, especially when it was evident the band was having a fun time on stage. Usually, when the band plays in Winnipeg they are designated to play at the Burt (seats 1,200+), but for these smaller venues, like the WECC (>350), it has a more casual, less formal feeling, and I'm sure if the band had a choice (besides the money) they would prefer the friendlier confines of the West End, than the cavernous sounding Burt.
West End Cultural Centre
December 16, 2010
"Left And Leaving" Show
01. Everything Must Go!
05. This Is A Fire Door Never Open
06. Without Mythologies
07. Left And Leaving
08. Elegy For Elsabet
09. History Of The Defeated
10. Exiles Among You
11. My Favourite Chords
12. Slips And Tangles
13. Our Retired Explorer
14. (Hospital Vespers)
16. None Of The Above
17. Civil Twilight
18. Vitute The Cat Explains Her Departure
20. Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist
21. The Reasons
Songs from "Left And Leaving": Tracks 1-12
WEAKERTHANS- 2010-12-16. rar (mp3-256 kbps)
Dimeadozen.org (members only)- lossless FLAC
Please do not sell this recording.