Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Live Shows: The Sheila Divine and Weakened Friends, Ralph's Rock Diner, Worcester, MA 7/23/16

Living an hour outside of Boston, that gets factored into the choice to go see a show. There isn't a whole lot that makes it out my way. The closest city with any kind of music scene is Worcester, which is mostly for metal and cover bands. This past Saturday, The Sheila Divine and Weakened Friends made the journey out to the distant suburbs. The chance to see two of my favorite local bands at a venue with a parking lot and I could be home before 1 a.m.? Obviously something I couldn't miss.

Despite The Sheila Divine and Weakened Friends playing together multiple times in the past year, this was my first chance to see Weakened Friends. Live they're just as raw and fun as you'd want them to be. Lead singer/guitarist Sonia Sturino has mastered the art of awkward stage banter, referencing the garbage bags that mysteriously covered the stage amps, the "Time to Fuck" neon light behind the bar, and bringing the fact that both "Worcester" and "Weakened Friends" begin with the letter "W." Despite being fun and great, they never seemed to win over the Worcester crowd. Unfortunately, when a middle aged crowd from the distant suburbs heads out for a night, they're not looking to discover new music. It's a shame, because they missed out on a great discovery. Maybe it was because it followed a particularly awkward set of banter from Sturino, but "Main Bitch" is an absolute beast of a song live, with lyrics like "I'm the worst and you're the best" fitting in perfectly right then.

The crowd was definitely there to see The Sheila Divine that night, and someone doubled in size as soon as Weakened Friends ended. The songs from The Sheila Divine's 1999 album New Parade were met with enthusiastic rejoicing, fist pumps, and shouting along. The crowd didn't seem very interested in the band's output from this century, which lead to lots of side conversations and polite clapping. Even the great "Beautiful Midnight" from the recently released album The Morbs couldn't stir much of a reaction. The crowd was there to shout along to the songs they knew from college, and not else more. "Hum," especially with it's inclusion of lines from "Jessie's Girl" and Tone Loc's "Wild Thing" was definitely a favorite. The set closer of "Automatic Buffalo" had the best shout along chorus of the night. 

It was a great show from two bands that deserve better. But, I did get home before 12:30 a.m., so I hope they come back out this far again soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment