Seeing The Weight was worth the “weight” this past Saturday at The Wellmont Theater.
Since the end of 2013, The Weight has played in over 100 local venues along the east coast, across the country and even in Norway in 2014. The Band was a Canadian-American group that came together and 1968 and didn’t disband until the late 1990s.
I walked into The Wellmont Theater on Saturday night for the 8 p.m. show and was happily surprised to see the theater filled with people seated in the front of the venue and standing on the mezzanine directly behind it. The members of the band came out for their first set and got a huge ovation from the crowd – some who clearly knew the band and the words of every song, and some who were there just to hear some good music on a Saturday night.
Randy Ciarlante, The Weight’s drummer and previous member of The Band, and Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band, began the first song with four claps of his drum sticks. The large room roared with the unmistakable sound of The Band, classic rock pieces that were fine-tuned just enough to fascinate a new generation of fans.
Throughout the concert, I gained an appreciation for each band member and the skills and precision it takes to be part of a tribute band, especially one that covers a band as significant as The Band. Starting in the second or third song and well into the night, Jim Weider, who was a member of The Band from 1985 to 2000, soloed on his guitar with a certain amount of skill that I’d never heard before. When it was his turn to take a solo, he knew the scales and was able to feel the music and create a cool riff that wowed the audience and fit well with the dynamic of the song.
Marty Greibb – keyboardist, saxophonist and vocalist – amazed me with his ability to play different instruments and, like Weider, to execute an unmistakable solo, specifically on the saxophone.
Albert Rogers, bassist and lead vocalist, complemented the music well with his vocal and musical talent. He was a good showman and, along with his two sets, told stories that amused and entertained the audience.
In the next couple weeks, The Weight will be traveling through New York, Florida, Massachusetts and Connecticut. For more information on the group, visit their website at theweightband.com.