Saturday, March 31, 2012
John K. Samson & The Provincial Band- Live At The West End Cultural Centre
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, City Route 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!
JOHN K. SAMSON & THE PROVINCIAL BAND
West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
March 27, 2012
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
11. Longitudinal Centre
12. The Boat Dreams From The Hill (Jawbreaker cover)
13. The Last And
14. Highway 1 West
15. Left And Leaving
16. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
17. Gifts (Propagandhi cover)
18. Anchorless (Propagandhi cover)
19. Reconstruction Site
20. The Reasons
21. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure (solo at front of stage-no PA)
Please DO NOT sell this recording or convert to mp3's (unless for personal use) without permission. Thanks.
JOHN K. SAMSON- 2012-03-27 Winnipeg FLAC. rar