The band seems comfortable. JKS was apologetic that he was playing some of these rightfully overlooked songs (paraphrase of his description). Of course, we the crowd have a different perspective. The chance to see some of these songs performed is just a gift in our eyes. You could tell by the way the crowd sang every song of that album that they view it as a treasure.
The band seemed happy to see a crowed room full of smiling people that are so grateful for their presence. I will say that Canadian crowds are totally different than American crowds. The Canadians are polite and modestly enthusiastic. They have small polite claps and every so often a drunk audience member will yell out a song request or start thrashing around trying to start a mosh pit to "Futon Revolutionist" while everyone else quietly tries to ignore him. Maybe it's because the Weakerthans are no rarity in Canada, but the crowds are definitely more subdued there.
American crowds, on the other hand, are more of a "let it all hang out" kind of bunch. They scream lyrics out of key, incessantly scream out a dialogue between songs and thrash around to anything with a moderate tempo until they fall on the ground. Literally. But can you blame them? The last time I remember the Weakerthans playing California was 2007!
There is a lot of camaraderie in the crowd at Weakerthans shows: Like we are all witness to something special. Something rare and beautiful. I met one girl in the crowd who hugged me because I was wearing a Winnipeg shirt. I suppose she thought I was Canadian. Still, it was sweet. I met another girl in the crowd who had come from Austin. This band truly does compel people to travel long distances to see them. I wish I could survey the audience to see where everyone is from. I bet we would have a wide contingency from outside San Francisco.
I will say the guy that yelled out "Propagandhi Sucks!" did look like an idiot. Come on, there's no need for that kinda play. Don't embarrass us all in front of the visitors.
Perhaps it's that the Weakerthans do not tour the US often... that it gets us more riled up. It's like a drug... give us a little and we just want more. Supply and demand is well illustrated here.
I will admit that am sad that Rusty is gone. I knew this before the show but still not seeing his goofy smile up there made me kind of sad. I have been told the new guy is Daniel Ledwell. Of course he is very talented and adorable, but I just miss Rusty with his Manitoba tattoo and big grin. I am not sure if he is gone for good... I surely hope not. I know he is on tour with his own band Imaginary Cities, so I hope it's just that he has other priorities at the moment. He was the perfect addition to the Weakerthans.
According to my laptop it is 319AM where I usually lay my head back in Georgia, so I should probably nod off. After all, this is just the beginning....