Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Weakerthans- WECC, Winnipeg, MB Dec. 3, 1998

A couple weeks ago, the West End Cultural Centre (WECC) celebrated 30 years as a music venue in Winnipeg. The renovated church has since become an institution for music fans of all genres and musical styles. The WECC has endured many trials and tribulations dealing with financial difficulties as well as upgrades for much needed renovations about eight years ago that helped refresh this vital venue. An excellent well written article appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press: And The Bands Played On, detailing the history of the WECC and I was amazed about how many people were responsible for keeping this venue operating for so long. An interesting and informative read!

Personally, I have attended many many concerts, readings, plays and fundraisers there since the doors first opened. I honestly can not remember the first show I attended at the West End, but there were several talent /hootenanny nights I was at in the late 80's for sure. The earliest ticket stub I can find is from Moxy Fruvous in 1992, but there are numerous too many to count (or remember) shows from the late 80's, 90's, 2000's and right up to present that I was at. I have seen some great concerts there and it has become my preferred venue to record at as the much improved sound system is clear and crisp and depending on the size of the crowd and the setup of the room, you can usually get pretty good sight-lines to the stage. With the renovations came a upper mezzanine that allows a view over top of the crowd on the floor and a more chatter-free sound area. If they expect a smaller "intimate" size crowd, the seating is arranged with tables and chairs. With a medium size crowd, the chairs are in rows (no tables) and for a sold out (or expected larger crowd) show, it's a general admission free for all standing. As far as I remember all the shows I've been to at the WECC are general admission, no reserved seats. The atmosphere at the WECC is much more relaxed than bar shows with a less drunken vibe and more people-friendlier staff (mostly volunteers). They host many all-ages shows and I've seen everything from punk to jazz, folk, blues, rock and everything in between.

The first time I saw the Weakerthans live was at the WECC as an opener in 1998. It was the Bonaduces album release for their brilliant record, Democracy Of Sleep and the Weakerthans and B'ehl opened the show. The band was performing many "new" songs at the time, that would appear a couple years later on Left and Leaving as well as songs from the debut, Fallow. I recorded both the Weakerthans and Bonaduces sets and have hoarded these recordings for almost 20 years. I thought it was about time I shared the Weakerthans set as I finally transferred the cassette to CDR and I've listened to this recording a lot in the past few weeks. It sounds fantastic, the sound is clear without too much distractions and it's a rare early performance from a band that personifies the spirit, energy and sense of community and social conscience of Winnipeg. Very similar to the mandate and purpose of the West End Cultural Centre. We are lucky to have a lovely venue like the West End and proud that the Weakerthans are from my hometown.

Please do NOT sell or convert to mp3!

West End Cultural Centre
Winnipeg, MB
December 3, 1998
AUD Master

Sony mic> Sony WM-GX35 Recording Walkman> Maxell XLII 90 Cassette> Fisher Cassette Deck> Teac CD recorder> CDR> FreeRip> WAV> Direct WAV splitter> FLAC> rar

01. The Last Last One
02. Diagnosis
03. Aside
04. Letter Of Resignation
05. None Of The Above
06. This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open
07. Watermark
08. Left And Leaving
09. Confessions Of A Futon Revolutionist
10. Wellington's Wednesdays
11. Everything Must Go!

THE WEAKERTHANS- 1998-12-03 WECC, Winnipeg, MB FLAC. rar 

Sorry folks, the file is no longer publicly available for download. For some unknown reason, I had a takedown down notice for copyright infringement. I've shared the Weakerthans many times in the past so I don't think the band has a problem sharing live shows, but perhaps their publishing company, record label or overzealous lawyers have an issue. Please PM me first if there are any objections sharing live shows on this blog.

On that note, please PM me if you are interested in the show. I will try to hook you up!

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