[PHOTOS + REVIEW] The Weeks at Off Broadway – 5/20/17

Words and photos by contributor Jessi McKee.

The Weeks, l to r: Taylor Craft, Samuel Williams, Cyle Barnes, Damien Bone, Johny Fisher, and Cain Barnes on drums. 

Mississippi natives The Weeks brought a six-piece band to St. Louis on Saturday, May 20th. Drummer Cain Barnes began tapping the cymbals as Cyle Barnes sang: “I said ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘My head aches…’”, pulling the intrigued Off Broadway crowd in closer with ‘The House We Grew Up In’, a track from their 2011 album Gutter Gaunt Gangster. Barnes’ rich, velvety vocals enveloped the room; a bouncing beat kicked the set off and rallied us into motion. 

The guys shifted quickly into new material, playing ‘Start It Up’ off last month’s full-length release, “Easy”. The Weeks’ brand of pure entertainment shone out over the club and revealed a young band that foregoes ostentatious garb or a huge production budget. The alt-rockers simply blend Southern soul, Bohemian style, and a collective rock n’ roll heart into an impressive stage show. 

The band played so tightly that I relied on floorboards shaking beneath my feet and dancing bodies surrounding me as physical reminders that this was indeed a live performance, and what I was hearing wasn’t straight from the studio. 

Singing along to ‘Hands on the Radio’, Cyle swayed across the stage, matching the swaying crowd, as bassist Damien Bone thumped and danced along with abandon. When ‘Hands’ came to a close, the audience was already asking for an encore. (And there were three songs left in the set.)

‘Book of Ruth’ was great live closer, as its upbeat tempo contrasted nicely with dark lyrics, i.e., “Oh it’s me / I’ve been dead for years / Let me haunt you while I wake”. But as fans indicated earlier, a regular set simply wasn’t enough — this group of Saturday night, St. Louis city revelers demanded an encore. The Weeks was happy to oblige.

Easing us back in with ‘The One‘ and closing out for good with fan favorite ‘Buttons‘ (from 2008), I could only see glimpses of Cyle on the mic through the hands of jumping fans. I stashed my pen and paper and joined them, as Taylor Craft gave the keys a final thrash, and Samuel Williams riffed hard on guitar. Both Caine’s drumsticks and hair were reduced to flashes as his hands flew across the drums. 

The Weeks is a band that’s easy to love and easy to listen to if you’re dialed-in enough to know them. Charismatic members coupled with well-oiled instrumentals and lyrical insight make them a must-see.

The Weeks return to St Louis for the “Burbs Music & Arts Festival” in Chesterfield, MO, on August 5th with Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Barely Alive, Looprat, and more. Tickets available at Burbsfest.com.


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