Artist: The Weepies
Date: December 6, 2006
Venue: Daniel Street
City: Milford, CT
Review By Meredith Tarr
Just got back from seeing The Weepies play in, of all places, Milford, Connecticut (the town where I worked for a decade, and where woj works now … I’d say its only claim to fame is as home of Subway Sandwiches World HQ). There’s a relatively new venue downtown called Daniel Street — I’d never heard of it before I saw this show on The Weepies’ tour schedule. It turned out to be pretty nice, a bar seating about 150 with a nice stage and sound system. There were quite a few people there — surprising for CT on a school night — and it was a good listening crowd (despite the fact that the only two annoying people in the room who insisted upon singing along loudly when they weren’t chattering away at one another chose to sit right next to me :P).
The Weepies are Steve Tannen and Deb Talan, both singer/songwriters in their own right who have forged a musical partnership that is vastly more than the sum of its parts. Their second album, _Say I Am You_ came out on Nettwerk early this year, and it’s been in constant residence in my car CD changer ever since. It’s definitely in my top 3 releases of 2006, no question. Their music just plain makes me happy — even the slow ballads have an optimism to them that is bolstered by Steve and Deb’s gorgeous harmonies. And live, they bring everything up to another level entirely.
Right now their band is a six-piece extravaganza featuring Meghan Toohey (a name familiar to followers of the Boston scene of the past several years) on guitar, as well as drums, bass and keys, with Steve and Deb playing guitar and singing. Or at least trying to. Tonight Steve was suffering from a nasty bout of laryngitis that made him unable to do anything more than emit the occasional Tom Waits-like croak, poor thing … so they’d cobbled together a set list consisting of every song in their catalog that Deb sings lead on (with emphasis on the latest CD), as well as a couple Deb Talan solo tunes. Steve tried to make noises, but mostly Meg Toohey jumped in and took his parts wherever she could. Some of the songs were clearly new to the band at large, so Steve would conduct while Deb sang with a “OMG what’s about to happen” look on her face. There were no train wrecks, though, and all in all it was a very enjoyable show.
Their 2006 tour is almost over, but I highly recommend seeing them next time they come to your town. And in the meantime, pick up both their records and enjoy.