Weakerthans – We’re The Weakerthans, We’re From Winnipeg

Here’s my final score from Sonic Boom during our trip to Toronto in June. I had first seen a copy of this DVD at BMV on Bloor for $14.99, and texted James about it to see if he needed it. He declined, saying he could get it $10 new online. Cool. I left that copy as well, having a whole pile of other stuff myself. 

Next day, at Sonic Boom, I found the same DVD for $5.99. Figuring James had already ordered his own copy (we’re big Weakerthans fans, you see), I snagged it for myself. And it’s great!

Weakerthans – We’re The Weakerthans, We’re From Winnipeg

Filmed as a documentary of their truly cross-Canada Rolling Tundra Tour, this DVD is a really cool look into the band’s lives on the road, great interviews, beautiful scenery (this really is a gorgeous country!), and full song selections from each town they played. Folks, Caelum Vatnsdal’s film is so awesome.

These are excellent musicians playing stellar rock songs, intelligent and literate guys who make it all look easy, and just a good bunch of solid Canadian lads trekking East to West (and North) in this great land of ours. I just love this band, and this DVD is full of cool insights and just general tour nitty gritty (shaving the beard! doing laundry! poutine! canoeing! marshmallow/bacon!).

We had the good fortune, years ago, to see the Weakerthans in concert. That was in Saskatoon, at Louis’ Pub on the U of S campus. Pretty sure that was for the Reconstruction Site album/tour. That was a great show too! Man, if I was in a band, I’d wanna make music just like this with guys just like this!

Oh hell, just buy this if you want a look into a superb band rolling through our great land. Do it!

opening montage (all St. John, NF?) – Reunion Tour
Halifax, NS – Tournament Of Hearts
Charlottetown, P.E.I. – Time’s Arrow
Sackville, NB – Relative Surplus Value
Fredericton, NB – Reunion Tour (briefly, then during interviews)
Quebec City, QC – Our Retired Explorer
Montreal, QC – Sun In An Empty Room
Peterborough, ON – Psalm For The Elks Lodge Last Call
Ottawa, ON – Aside
Kingston, ON (listed but no stage song)
Toronto, ON – One Great City
Winnipeg, MB – Plea From A Cat Named Virtute (with Rusty on trumpet!)
Winnipeg, MB – Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure
Calgary, AB – Confessions Of A Futon Revolutionist
Banff, AB – The Reasons
Kelowna, BC – Civil Twilight
Nanaimo, BC – Elegy For Elsabet
Victoria, BC – Reconstruction Site (with canoeing footage!)
Vancouver, BC – Pamphleteer
Whitehorse, YT – My Favourite Chords (briefly, then during interviews)
Whitehorse, YT – Left And Leaving (briefly during interviews, then in full/during credits)









* I looked all over online and could not find anywhere that listed the towns/songs, as I have done (above). I dunno, I just got tired of looking so I sat through the whole DVD and kept a list of what I heard. Likely, I just missed it online (probably), or maybe I’ve done the internet a favour (you’re welcome!). If I’ve made any errors, I’ll gladly correct whatever it is, just let me know in the comments.

** WTF no stops in Saskatchewan? Or maybe just no recordings made there?

*** On the cover, the pull-quote from Sarah Liss of NOW Magazine says “There’s something about the Winnipeg folk-punk foursome’s tunes that packs a gut-wrenching wallop.” I do not disagree, Sarah, except that that picture on the cover clearly shows all five members of the band on stage!

24 thoughts on “Weakerthans – We’re The Weakerthans, We’re From Winnipeg

  1. boppinsblog says:

    I do live close enough to Toronto, but to get to a 7pm show I often leave around 3-4pm, then to avoid snarling traffic and high parking rates I use the subway, leave early to beat the rush and get home around 130 am. It makes for a long ass day, and hard to wake up the next day.
    I really live 1 hour drive from downtown Toronto with no traffic, but in most days it turns into a 3 hour road rage fest, that is why I love when bands come closer to my home.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yeah, traffic in Toronto is a total pain in the ass. If we go the usual ways from here in OS, we’re 2.5 hours from front door to parking the car downtown. No traffic? A lot less time, but that never happens!

      When we went down to the city for the Red Fang/Dillinger Escape Plan/Mastodon show, we didn’t get back up here until almost 4 a.m.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. keepsmealive says:

          Nah, the kids don’t care one bit. When they’re up at 6:30 and raring to go, so was Daddy (with LOTS of coffee!)

          Fortunately, I have a VERY patient lovely wife.


  2. boppinsblog says:

    I’m not sure why but western Canadian bands never seem to venture my way. They often never go south of Toronto. I guess they don’t want to stray too far off the Trans Canada.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      I’m not sure I know where you’re at, boppinsblog! But if you’re south of Toronto, I could only guess Niagara/St. Catherines area (which would give you access to shows in Buffalo), or somewhere past London towards Windsor (which would give you access to shows in Detroit). True, a lot of Canadian bands wouldn’t play in the States like that, usually, but as for why the ‘bigger’ bands (and I’d say Weakerthans are in the middle) play Toronto and not many other places is beyond me. There’s gotta be a market, even for smaller club gigs. Even on this tour they played Peterborough, so what’s wrong with a couple more smaller towns? Ontario’s a big place!

      If the idea is to keep playing (which I’d say it is!), I’d say take the gig! I mean, look at the number of times touring bigger bands will play west to east in Canada, and hit Vancouver, Calgary, then Winnipeg, Toronto… skipping over Saskatchewan altogether! Garbage! Smaller bands can’t afford that. I dunno, but I’d say they HAVE to play to keep going. I suppose ticket sales drive the whole thing. Maybe there isn’t enough interest for bands in smaller towns to justify booking a show, but if there was at all an opportunity, they should play the gig. There’s no gig too small, and it’s why they’re on the road, right? Sure everyone wants to be the Rolling Stones or whatever, but it ain’t the case for most. Play every gig you can!


      1. boppinsblog says:

        I live in KW. I have emailed som3 musicians over the years as to why they only go through Toronto and not London, KW, Windsor etc and was told it was often a financial thing and that it was hard to book clubs in these towns. 😦
        I am hoping Maxeells Music in Waterloo will change that. I saw Danko Jones there and he said it was not only one of the best clubs in Canada, he has been to, but the world. Wow. Hopefully statements like that will help to lure bands here.


  3. jprobichaud says:

    It is true. They are splitting. Luckily, I got the chance to see them a couple of times live too before they split.


      1. jprobichaud says:

        I saw them open for Lowest of the Low in 1999 and then again at V fest in 2008, both times in Toronto. Really enjoyed them.


        1. keepsmealive says:

          Man, LotL. Another great band. I think it was Jason Plumb & The Willing opening for Weakerthans when we saw them (James could confirm or correct my shoddy memory).

          If you see this DVD in your travels, man, pick it up. Cool songs in cool places intercut with cool interviews with the band.* Yes!

          *ha, that could have been my concise review.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yeah James sent me notice of that, though at the time it wasn’t a completely sure thing just the drummer talking.

      Well, all the more reason this DVD is special, a document of a great band that deserved every accolade they got.

      Liked by 1 person

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