John K. Samson & The Provincial Band- Live At The West End Cultural Centre
John K returns to the bass for Propagandhi covers.
When tickets went on sale before Christmas for John K. Samson's concert, I anticipated the show would sell-out fast. Considering his band, the Weakerthans haven't played the city in over a year, fans of the band were probably anxious to hear new material from Samson, Weakerthans or not. Since last year, Samson has played some smaller solo gigs around the city, but this would be his first appearance in his hometown since releasing his first full length (not counting his first pre-Weakerthans solo tape) album, Provincial. Samson had earlier released two EP's, CityRoute 85 and Provincial Road 222, with 6 of the songs from those EP's re-recorded for the full length, as well as 6 new songs.
The show featured many tracks from the new disc, but still with about half the set dedicated to Weakerthans songs. If you've been to any recent Weakerthans shows (last 10 years or so) you might notice they don't perform many live covers. With a vast catalog of songs to choose from, they may feel it unnecessary to play other people's songs, so it was a bonus to hear John throw a couple of covers into the set. Technically, two of the songs were one's he wrote when he was in Propagandhi (Gifts and Anchorless) and Anchorless was re-recorded and appeared on the Weakerthans' first album. So, as I was saying it was refreshing to hear a cover, a Jawbreaker song, The Boat Dreams From The Hill, a band who Samson said he saw at the WECC "10 or 12 years ago" and was and still is a favourite band of his, definitely an influential band for Samson and the Weakerthans (note: Jawbreaker played the WECC in 1994, 18 years ago, did they play any other time here?). The show was even better than I anticipated, soft and slower songs showcased Samson's fine song craftsmanship and some upbeat, rockers with his band, The Provincial Band that kept it fun and interesting...great show!
I was pleased with the quality of the recording, a crisp, clear sounding document aided by a good sound mix (and acoustics) at the WECC. Because of the mixture of softer, slow songs with louder songs, I had to adjust the levels on the fly, something I don't like to do as it sometimes comes out sounding like the volume button is simply turned up and down, but I think it ended up sounding balanced and level. It's hot at the start of some louder songs, but overall it's a very satisfying listen. I was jammed packed in the middle of the crowd somewhat close to the stage and fortunately the crowd was polite with very little chatter intensely listening to every word, which is always good for tapers. So far, I haven't seen or heard any other recordings from this tour, so get this while you can! Enjoy!!
JOHN K. SAMSON & THE PROVINCIAL BAND West End Cultural Centre Winnipeg, MB, Canada March 27, 2012 Audience Master
Sony ECM-DS70P mic> Tascam DR-07> USB> 16 bit Wav> Direct Wave MP3 splitter> FLAC> rar file
01. One Great City 02. Heart Of The Continent 03. Cruise Night 04. When I Write My Masters Thesis 05. Letter in Icelandic From The Ninette San 06. Tournament Of Hearts 07. Night Windows 08. Elegy For Gump Worsley 09. Pamphleteer 10. www.ipetitions.com/petition/rivertonrifle/ 11. Longitudinal Centre 12. The Boat Dreams From The Hill (Jawbreaker cover) 13. The Last And 14. Highway 1 West 15. Left And Leaving Encore 1 16. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute 17. Gifts (Propagandhi cover) 18. Anchorless (Propagandhi cover) 19. Reconstruction Site Encore 2 20. The Reasons 21. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure (solo at front of stage-no PA)
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