Weepie returns strong, wows Variety

Two weeks ago on Wednesday, Nov. 17, Variety Playhouse hosted The Weepies, an indie pop-folk group of six based out of Los Angeles. Led by husband and wife musicians Steve Tannen and Deb Talan, The Weepies, while still being lesser known by the masses, has steadily gained notoriety in the last few years. This can be attributed to several songs that have been featured on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother.
The duo, who had solo projects before joining together, write their own lyrics and until the past few years, toured the country in a compact Toyota. Their first album was released in 2003, and they now have a total of four (Happiness, Say I Am You, Hideaway, Be My Thrill) with the most current being released earlier this year.
The crowd on Wednesday, unexpectedly ranging from high school students to middle aged adults, made small talk amongst strangers like old friends while waiting on the show to start. Small bright stage lights, fitting to the band’s persona, were turned on around nine, and were immediately followed by fan excitement. Soon after, The Weepies took the stage.
During the concert it was common for a single fan to yell a one-liner to the band, but between songs everyone was unusually quiet. This was noted by trendy dressing lead singer Deb Talan who commented that down time was so quiet she could almost hear a pin drop.
It can’t be for sure, but perhaps this silence was due to the fact that no one had heard The Weepies live in so long. They haven’t had a show, much less a tour, in four years. In this time Talan and Tannen wrote their album Be My Thrill, expanded their family and switched from a compact to a tour bus.
In the quaint setting of Variety Playhouse, fans were told stories about the inspiration for many songs which range from drinks to arguments to children’s sayings. The tour bus inspired a song called “Antarctica” which is what the duo’s oldest child calls it.
As a matter of fact, fans ate up all stories told between songs. Most popular was the story of how Talan and Tannen met while both on separate tours. “Riga Girls” was inspired by it, but those interested will have to look the song’s colorful background themselves.
“Please Speak Well of Me,” a slower song about an ex, enhanced the folky aspect of the band by including several band members clapping and snapping in rhythmic sync to make much of the music for the song. Fans soon joined in to make things louder thus adding quality to the song. In order to speed things up and keep excitement The Weepies followed with “Can’t Go Back Now” which was well received proving that fans appreciate different song styles made by the band.
Throughout the night The Weepies kept true to their untraditional genre and used not only typical drums and guitars but also incorporated the afore mentioned clapping as well as a ukulele, cello and tambourine. Solidifying themselves as musicians, almost every member played at least two instruments before the night came to a close. Other crowd pleasing songs were “Gotta Have You,” “Nobody Knows Me At All” and two singles that seemed to be known by everyone in the crowd, “Be My Thrill” and “World Spins Madly On.”
Variety Playhouse turned out to be the perfect venue for the concert. Fans missed The Weepies and surely appreciated the small, personal setting of the venue where they could make new friends and seemingly “catch up” with the band who themselves treated the audience like old friends. With any luck, they’ll come back soon for those who missed out. If not, it can only be hoped it won’t be four years until the next time.


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