Low Cut Connie & Electric NoNo 4.12.19

The Sunset
Seattle, WA

Words by Erica Garvey
Photos by Erica Garvey & Baiba Rubino (Broken Clock Photography)

Make no mistake: Low Cut Connie is actually quite buttoned up when it comes to their music-making. The Philadelphia-based rock and roll crusaders played the first show of a sold-out two-night run at Seattle’s Sunset Tavern on April 12. The room, from this vantage point, was too small to accommodate their large and still-growing fan base, but frontman Adam Weiner made himself at home in the tiny quarters, rewarding the friendly crowd with an intimate, energetic show.

Seattle locals Electric NoNo started the evening with a simple setup of guitar and drums. The two brothers, dressed nicely in suits as though they were playing a high school piano recital, are White Stripes-esque in their foundation of rock and roll with a tasteful touch of weirdness. Jared Cortese oscillated smoothly from pure singing to talk-singing to screaming over his electric guitar. The vocals were playfully harmonized with drummer Dominic Cortese, though at no point was the duo overly reliant on the singing or lyrics for entertainment. I could not quite figure out how they were achieving arena-level sounds, but I hope they keep doing it.

Next, main act Low Cut Connie began with Weiner, fully embodying his reputation as an entertainer, walking solo onto the stage, immediately settling in to a moderately-paced bluesy boogie on his upright piano (which reportedly goes by the name of “Shondra”). The crowd was salivating for the full Low Cut Connie experience by the time the other band members arrived on stage for the second song, which launched the performance into a series of swinging rock songs.

Low Cut Connie feels like an extension of Weiner’s self. He moves around the stage, stands on the piano, squats on the piano, reaches into the audience to touch hands, and still subtly directs the rest of the band. The rest of the band members (Linwood Regensburg and Will Donnelly on guitars, Ryan Gavel on bass, and Kim Logan on vocals, tambourine, and guitar) are purposeful enablers of Weiner’s crafted stage vibe. None of them really sat still (with the exception of Seattle-based drummer Karimi), and they all could be spotted singing and laughing at each other through the night. The music is buttoned up, but the performance is refreshingly loose.

Low Cut Connie’s overriding sound is classic piano rock, in the same vein as Elton John. The chords are predictable and about half of the songs have a woman’s name in the title, but the lyrics and melodies are more imaginative than similar rock outfits. The band’s soul shines through in the live performance to make this music feel new.

While I would love to see Low Cut Connie again in a room the size of Sunset Tavern, next time them come to the West Coast I fully expect to be watching them from fifty rows back at whatever venue is willing to attempt to contain that infectious energy.




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