More than a decade after they formed, it’s still amazing to think that John K. Samson, the voice behind Canada’s The Weakerthans, is the same punk rocker that used to play bass for the skate punks in Propaghandi. The sounds of both bands are so drastically different. While Propaghandi had the angst-ridden teen market in mind, The Weakerthans churn out beautifully-crafted, melody-soaked, deeply introspective indie rock.
Recorded before a hometown crowd in Winnipeg, Live at the Burton Cummings Theatre showcases the band at its very best. Musically and lyrically you’ve got to be a raging cynic to find fault with these songs. The 18 track album (and accompanying DVD) does a decent job of picking from the band’s four disc catalog including a fantastic take on “Pleas From a Cat Named Virtue” and an equally stellar version of “The Reasons”.
Live at the Burton is one of those few records that manages to not only be a must-have for diehard fans, but also serves as a great primer for those who have never heard of the band before.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Top tracks: “The Reasons” and “Pleas From a Cat Named Virtue”
The Weakerthans – Live at the Burton Cummings Theatre (CD/DVD)/2010/18 tracks/Anti- Records