When Low Cut Connie (LCC) announced back-to-back shows at Austin’s The Mohawk, we gleefully rubbed our hands together, knowing the beloved Red River venue was in for a treat as the South Philly band is among the best live acts currently touring. That might sound like hyperbole, but in the case of the piano-rockers, it’s proof that real, honest-to-god rock ‘n roll is alive and well. The band’s high-energy and all-inclusive approach means every person in the room with LCC is engaged and focused on the performance. Indeed, as we surveyed the room, not a single fan was talking to their neighbor. In fact, all the folks inside Mohawk on November 13 looked as though they were having the best time of their life.
Australian songwriter Ruby Boots (Rebecca Louise Chilcott) opened the show backed by members of Magic Rockers of Texas, who featured some blazing guitar riffs to back the red-headed Perth-to-Nashville artist. After an energetic, mostly light-hearted set, Ruby Boots yielded the stage to Low Cut Connie.
A packed room stood in rapt attention, waiting for frontman Adam Weiner and his band to appear. We spoke to one fan who flew in from Washington D.C. to see the performance. Frankly, no one’s ever told us that before. Sure, folks come in from all over for high-profile festival gigs, but a touring act in a small, local club? A rarity. If that doesn’t tell you how good an act Low Cut Connie is, we don’t know what will.
Weiner took the stage in a satin, embroidered coaches’ jacket with his ubiquitous, white tank-top underneath. Looking a bit road-weary after a busy fall tour, the pianist and singer brightened when he heard the crowd’s reaction to his band’s presence on stage. Then he proceeded to lead his mates in a celebration of rock n roll with the enthusiastic Austin audience standing atop his piano bench banging on the keys of his piano Shondra.
The piano-rocker paused briefly between songs to comment on how many fans came out on a Tuesday night. Perhaps not as common in other major metros, fans in Austin show up regardless if it’s a school night. The room was nearly sold-out, as was the group’s second night at Mohawk. Word has gotten around, Low Cut Connie are one of the top live, club-level acts in the country. Increasing festival appearances signal the band’s imminent departure to ever larger stages.
The group led off with new track, “All These Kids Are Way Too High,” a commentary on the opiate crisis affecting younger folks in America. Low Cut Connie brought a considerable amount of energy to the stage, following the cue of their charismatic leader, who constantly urged the crowd on, but not in the gratuitous way some rockers do. Weiner means it. He’s passionate about connecting with like-minded fans. The approach works as an equal amount of energy flows back from the audience at Low Cut Connie performances.
Anthemic songs like “Dirty Water” and “Shake It Little Tina” cemented the group’s membership in the real rock n roll club. They propagated the legend of hard-driving riffs and piano blasts alongside shredding guitars. Fans clearly appreciated the honest effort of the musicians on stage who sport less schtick and more authenticity. The formula works for Low Cut Connie. It certainly works for fans who as this point in the setlist are euphoric, singing along to each cut, grinning broadly.
Towards the conclusion of the show, Weiner led the band in a cover of Alex Chilton’s “Hey! Little Child.” The percussive chorus (Hey!) punctuated every verse, driving the Mohawk crowd to further heights as the band worked through a short two-song encore. Do yourself a favor and pick up any Low Cut Connie record and play it often. Your life will be happier. That’s guaranteed.