Monday, November 19, 2018

Live Shows: Weakened Friends and Nervous Dater, Great Scott, Allston, MA 11/15/18

I've seen Weakened Friends a few times, but always as an opening band. This past Thursday marked my first time seeing them headline a show, so despite the terrible early winter weather I knew I had to make the hour plus drive into Boston to see them make a triumphant semi-homecoming show to celebrate their great new album Common Blah. Plus, they were bringing Nervous Dater with them, so bad weather or not I had to go in.

The first thing I noticed at the venue was how young the crowd seemed to be for the show. Maybe it was the weather being awful enough to keep anyone over the age of 22 home, but this was the youngest crowd I had been in for a long time. I assumed that their opening slots for bands like The Sheila Divine, Letters to Cleo, and Juliana Hatfield would have brought out some other aging Gen-Xers, but we were few and far between.

But sometimes young crowds can be great, particularly with energy. And this crowd was stoked to be there. Despite Weakened Friends focusing on their album released less than a month ago, they seemed to know every single word of every single song already. They did pepper the set with material from their previous EPs, and as much as I loved hearing favorites like "Crshd" and "Main Bitch," hearing the new songs was fantastic. Keeping with my early Weezer comparisons we've mentioned on this blog before, singer/guitarist Sonia Sturino always seems like she's going through something heavy while singing and bassist Annie Hoffman seems like she's having the best time ever. The same can be said for the crowd, who can obviously relate to a lyric like "I hate everything you're saying get away from me / I hate everything we're doing it's a waste for me" while joyously singing.

Another great aspect of the night was how all bands watched each other's sets from right up front, singing along with all the words. You would think after seeing each other play for weeks at this point that Weakened Friends and Nervous Dater would have had enough of each other's sets, but you'd be wrong. Much like how I first discovered Weakened Friends after seeing them on a bill with The Sheila Divine, after this tour was announced I looked up Nervous Dater and was instantly smitten. They might be the absolute perfect band to tour with Weakened Friends, both lyrically and sonically. Singer Rachel Lighter claimed to have run out of banter early in the tour, but they still let the songs shine through. Somehow their songs are even catchier live, and brought out the same joyous singing from the crowd despite lyrics like "It's fine / I said / I'll bash my fucking head through the wall."

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