Low Cut Connie – Photo by Kathleen Ambre
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Could Barack Obama and Elton John be Wrong?: Low Cut Connie at First Avenue

Low Cut Connie are coming dangerously close to becoming the next big thing.

Elton John loves them so much that he sang their praises at his last show in their hometown of Philadelphia, in addition to interviewing them for a podcast. Barack Obama put their “Boozophilia” on his 2015 Spotify playlist, and followed it up by inviting them to the White House.

So yeah, to say they come highly recommended is an understatement. The question is: are they worth the hype?

Low Cut Connie at First Avenue 11/1/18
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

The band is propelled by frontman and songwriter Adam Weiner. His stage presence channels Jerry Lee Lewis, Freddie Mercury, and Bruce Springsteen. The entire show had an epic E-Street Band sort of feel, from the impressive tightness of the band to his Boss-like energy.

It’s difficult to balance being a showman and doing the songs justice, but Weiner pulled it off. Even as he ran and jumped around onstage, engaged with the audience, and played his piano with one foot on his stool and the other in the air, he never lost sight of a song or missed the impact of a big chorus.

Low Cut Connie at First Avenue 11/1/18
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

And, my goodness, can this man write a big, catchy chorus.

The show was full of them, beginning with their latest single, “All These Kids are Way Too High.” The song is a microcosm of their music, infusing a back-to-basics, 70s rock n’ roll approach with a crazy amount of energy.

After an early appearance of their signature song “Boozophilia,” the setlist leaned heavily on their 2017 album Dirty Pictures (part 1) and its 2018 follow-up. The singalong choruses of each song made them all feel like huge hits, especially “Revolution Rock n’ Roll,” “Beverly,” and the Stones-y strut of “Dirty Water.” 

The encore began with a new song, “Wild Ride,” which stopped just short of being anthemic. They followed that with a wild take on Tom Petty deep cut “Free Girl Now” before ending with an extended version of Prince’s “Controversy.”

Low Cut Connie at First Avenue 11/1/18
Photo by Kathleen Ambre

It is fitting that, right before the release of the highly anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, we get treated to a band whose leader channels Mercury’s spirit in his stage presence (even if his music is more Springsteen and Petty than Queen).

Low Cut Connie may or may not be the next big thing, but they are worth the hype. Evidently Elton John and Barack Obama were onto something.

Erik Ritland
Author: Erik Ritland

Erik is a journalist and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to writing and editing for a number of local outlets, he founded Rambling On, a Minnesota-focused blog and podcast about music, sports, and culture, in 2012. He began working for Music in Minnesota in 2018 and is a writer, editor, and social media content strategist.

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik is a journalist and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to writing and editing for a number of local outlets, he founded Rambling On, a Minnesota-focused blog and podcast about music, sports, and culture, in 2012. He began working for Music in Minnesota in 2018 and is a writer, editor, and social media content strategist.

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