Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Live Shows: Slothrust and Weakened Friends, The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 5/4/24

Weakened Friends have been one of my favorite bands from back when they seemed to be opening for every Boston 90's band's reunion show. They've come a long way since then, and are headliners on their own. Slothrust have been a band I've enjoyed for a while, and was blown away when I saw them last summer at the In Between Days Festival. When the two bands announced a joint tour, I was thrilled and knew I simply had to make it.

Weakened Friends opened the evening with an incredibly tight set that doubles as a career-spanning greatest hits set at this point. In the past few years, they've transformed themselves into full fledged rock stars (at least in the indie rock sense). They definitely had their own fanbase at the show, and there are obviously some diehard fans of both bands at the show. Songs like "Main Bitch" and "Blue Again" were excitedly sung by a sizable portion of the audience. One of my favorite part of any Weakened Friends show is watching singer/guitarist Sonia Sturino singing heavy, heartbreaking lyrics while bass player (and Sturino's wife) Annie Hoffman has the time of her life on the other side of the stage. Another favorite are the moments when the pair interact on stage during instrumental parts. For extra added fun, Sturino asked who was a fan of mom rock, and the trio busted out a cover of Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn." As always, a fun time was had.

For this tour, Slothrust was joined by Annie Hoffman pulling double duty on bass. The trio opened with the metal-adjacent instrumental track "Surf Goth" before playing the vibe laden "Cranium." After a couple of more songs, they started the main event of the evening: playing all of Of Course You Did to celebrate the album's tenth anniversary (which I completely forgot they were doing). Leah Wellbaum is cementing herself as one of the best frontpeople in all of indie rock, and this set showed why. She is a magnetic performer, and you can't help but be sucked in with whatever she's doing on stage. Plus, Slothrust play such a wide variety of genres during their set, from more alt-pop songs to neo-grunge, and they do it all expertly. 

Once Of Course You Did had been played, Wellbaum left the stage for a bit while Hoffman and drummer Will Gorin started a bass and drum cover of "Over the Rainbow." Wellbaum rejoined after a bit covered with a shiny blanket and armed with a bubble gun. Once that was done, it was time to continue the covers with their fantastic version of Ginuwine's "Pony." "Maybe Maybe" closed out the main set, with a two song encore of "Horseshoe Crab" and "Planetarium." 

It may have been the closing night of the tour, but Smothrust and Weakened Friends are one of the best double bills out there. This wasn't their first joint tour, and hopefully it won't be their last.

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