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The Weakerthans’ Windy City Reunion

CHICAGO: Canadian storytellers spend 90 zealous minutes in "One Great City."

Winnipeg’s sometimes quartet, sometimes sextet the Weakerthans wasactually a quintet at Chicago’s Metro last night (Oct. 25) as theystrutted through tracks from all four of their releases, including mostrecent studio effort, Reunion Tour. Kicking the evening off with the procrastination anthem “Psalms for the Elks Lodge Last Call” from 2003’s Reconstruction Site,the five fellas all donning button-up shirts seemed to be prepping theWindy City for a mellow show, but later, with a flicker of the stage’slarge circular lights, the evening shifted into overdrive.

BassistGreg Smith and guitarist Stephen Carroll seemingly battled it out forthe most energetic on stage, and during the reflective lyrics of crowdfavorite “Aside,” the two rockers jumped and jerked in an attempt tomimic the audience’s enthusiasm, shouting, “Get clobbered on bycourtesy / In love with love and lousy poetry.” By the time lead singerJohn K. Samson uttered the line “I swear I’m going to bite you hard,”from the feline perspective “Plea From a Cat Named Virtute,” the tableshad shifted and the crowd seemed unable to keep up with the Canadianfrenzy onstage. Five encore songs later, including a solo Samsonleading a collective chant of “I hate Winnipeg” from the song “OneGreat City,” the Weakerthans were unable to keep up with themselves,ending an intense 90-minute set of music mania.

We asked:The Weakerthans are known for lyrics that are almost like shortstories. If you could have the band turn any tale into a song, whatstory would it be?