I somehow did not find myself completely sick of live music following Outside Lands last week, so on Thursday night I headed to The Fillmore to see The Weepies in concert. My sister introduced me to the indie folk duo of Deb Talen and Steve Tannen, a guitar-strumming married couple with a “meet cute” story straight out of a movie.
The Fillmore, with its history as a San Francisco landmark stretching back to the 1960s, is an amazing venue for a concert. When you first walk in the doors and up the stairs, you’re surrounded by photographs of past acts, from Johnny Cash to Radiohead. Be sure to grab one of the free red apples at the top of the stairs. The auditorium itself has a simple setup, with just a few tables lining the walls, leaving the majority of the floor standing-room only. Gorgeous crystal chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, dappling light on the deep red walls. Upstairs, there is a mezzanine level where the walls are covered, floor to ceiling, with copies of the kaleidoscopic posters that are sometimes given out gratis after performances.
The show was opened by Steve’s brother Greg Tannen, who is quite talented, and certainly worth checking out if you’re into the charming, John Mayer, guy-with-a-guitar type. However, the highlight of his performance was definitely the marriage proposal between two fans in the middle of his set. (P.S: This is the second marriage proposal between strangers that I have witnessed in the past three months. Call me Cupid?).
As for The Weepies themselves, their acoustic performance was a welcome spell of calm after the exuberance of Outside Lands. Deb and Steve both sing and play the guitar and the piano (with some harmonica and xylophone mixed in as well), and they hopped back and forth between instruments throughout the show, sometimes singing in unison, sometimes entirely solo. They engaged with the crowd, talked about playing songs in their living room, and bantered back and forth like a pair of high-school sweethearts.
I was admittedly disappointed that they didn’t play some of my favorite songs, such as When You Go Away, but they did play most of the best songs from their 2010 album Be My Thrill. I also wished that they had played a few more fast-paced or upbeat tunes, as by the middle of the show the lullaby-like songs were starting to melt together a bit. However, those mellow songs, sweet and nostalgic, are what The Weepies do best. They played a sneak peek or two from an upcoming album, and I’m certainly looking forward to that release date, whenever it may be.