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The Weepies At The El Rey: Slideshow

Kaitlin Parker |
October 11, 2010 | 2:35 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The Weepies (Kaitlin Parker)
The Weepies (Kaitlin Parker)
“We have small children so we don’t curse very often, but holy shit there are a lot of you.”

And with that, singer-songwriter Deb Talan ended The Weepies four-year touring hiatus. Talan and her husband, Steven Tannen, front the pop-folk band. The two met in Cambridge, Mass., but now live in Topanga, Calif.

The duo took a break from touring to raise their kids, and their Sunday night show at the El Rey marked their triumphant return to the stage and the beginning of a 37-city tour.

After opening with “When You Go Away” from their newest album Be My Thrill, Tannen stepped up to the mic.

“If it seems like I’m shaking and nervous, it’s because I’m shaking and nervous. We’ve been in our living room for four years. There aren’t as many people there.”

The group seemed less nervous than cutely unpolished. Broken guitar strings, tuning issues, and indecision in regards to the set list joined the banter in between songs, but the crowd seemed not to mind. They were just happy to be back in the presence of Talan and Tannen, whose clear affection for each other spread to their four other band members and into the audience as well.

Songs from Be My Thrill and the previous album, Hideaway, dominated the show. Talan remarked that they never did a tour after Hideaway and the last time they were on stage, they had no children, and now they have two.

Their boys were clearly on the forefront of their minds, joking about how they now stay up and party all night…with a 6-month-old.

Crowd favorites tended to be older songs, “Gotta Have You,” “Take It From Me,” and “World Spins Madly On,” among them.

Proclamations of love went both directions, from an audience member to the band, and then Tannen insisting, “No, we love YOU.”

Despite the tinge of sadness that haunts many of The Weepies’ coyly romantic tunes, the show was largely upbeat, the backing band providing a rich sound to Talan’s unique voice that grew more confident the longer she performed.

The normally subdued group came close to rocking out on “How Do You Get High,” a country-rock inspired tune also from their newest album that Tannen described as his mid-life crisis song.

Cries for “Painting By Chagall” sadly went unheeded, but the two-song encore of “Nobody Knows Me At All,” and “Hope Tomorrow,” wrapped up the show nicely.

The former turned into a group sing-along during the chorus and the latter offered lyrics that served as a kind of prediction for the rest of their tour: “We hold hands while we work and play, and hope tomorrow is a sunny day.” In Southern California with The Weepies, that certainly seems like a possibility.


To reach reporter Kaitlin Parker, click here.

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