Weege and the Wonder Twins at New City Brewery-March 10th, 2017

Weege and the Wonder Twins at New City Brewery, March 10th, 2017 - photo by Kelly D
Weege and the Wonder Twins at New City Brewery, March 10th, 2017 - photo by Kelly D

Weege and the Wonder Twins

New City Brewery, Easthampton, MA

March 10, 2017

Story, photos, and video by Kelly D

To see more of Kelly D’s photography of the show, check out her art page on Facebook at Vital Visions: Art by Kelly D

To submit a review or story for consideration hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

If you haven’t heard or heard OF Lexi Weege, you need to stop reading this RIGHT NOW and scroll down to where I’ve inserted some videos of her show last Friday night at New City Brewery.

It’s hard to describe Lexi and all she embodies without turning into a gushing fangirl, but suffice to say: this young woman is a dynamo in every sense of the word. Not only a talented multi-instrumentalist with a versatile voice, she’s also drop dead gorgeous- think Madonna circa 1984, with the stage presence of Jessica Rabbit. Yeah. She’s sexy.

Once again, disclaimer: I am buddies with her AND the Wonder Twins, actual twins AJ and Tom Del Negro, but again, my videos don’t lie. These musicians are the real deal. I first heard of Lexi through our mutual friend who excitedly told me Ms. Weege was performing at a Women’s Songwriter Collective show a few years ago wearing a Rush T-shirt. Knowing that women in their 20s who love Rush enough to wear their merch are in short supply in the Valley, I demanded more information. As it turns out, Lexi not only loves Rush, but she’s also brilliant, dry-witted, and humorously self-deprecating- which is immediately evident in her stage presence. I saw her EP release performance at the Parlor Room in September 2015 and was promptly hooked.

Since then, Lexi Weege has performed regularly in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, going on a cross-country tour in 2016. The show at New City is part of a monthly residency at the fledgling brewery and I was happy to see that another acquaintance, Greg Hall of his eponymous Greg Hall and the Barnhouse Band, was opening for her.

Greg Hall possesses a wide smile and boyish good looks that belies a deep voice that’s perfect for the folk-country genre he plays. I caught a few songs in his set, a spirited cover of the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” and an original about riding the rails because, as he put it, “I like songs about trains.” Hall sings with just the right amount of twang and has an unassuming yet strong stage presence. He then called Weege up to the stage to duet with him on the Carter Family’s “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” and a few others, including a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” from a female perspective. Before taking the stage, Lexi quipped, “I’m only friends with you because of those two cats you have”- a reference to Greg and his girlfriend Elonia’s two Himalayan cats who have a popular presence on social media.

After a quick setup, the Wonder Twins joined Weege. Continuing with the train theme, the trio played Harry Nilsson’s “Nobody Cares About the Railroads Anymore.” AJ quipped, “I always had a weird obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine.” Lexi shot back, “That’s what you wanna share on a first date.” Their easy banter and interactions, as well as their most excellent musicianship, always makes for a good evening.

The Del Negro twins, playing left-handed guitar and bass and providing backing vox, flank Weege as a calm balance to her fiery antics. The two tall, thin men provide staid playing as Weege stamps time in high heels and tosses her platinum corkscrew curls for emphasis. In every performance I’ve seen of hers, Weege spits fire through her microphone and even out into the open air: her vocals carry far beyond any PA system. Each twin got to sing their own tunes with their own spin: AJ singing wistfully with his eyes cast skyward, and Tom channeling Jim Morrison, his expression largely obscured by cheap sunglasses.

Throughout their show, so many names floated through my head as I was trying to pinpoint the influences in Weege’s signature voice- Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Adele? It has such a huge range that it’s hard to keep up: it goes from low to falsetto in a span of seconds, squeaking scat one minute in a jaunty little number about falling in love, then growling about self-pleasure the next. I ended up just sitting back, away from my notepad, letting the notes flow over me. A Waylon Jennings cover, “The Wurlitzer Prize,” showed the softer side of her chords and her original “Sweet Moon” came to a surprising climax, as did their Beatles cover: “Girl” never sounded so mournful and sexy until, without warning, it transformed into a honky-tonk stomper.

They brought out a surprise for their second set: a fourth member, who had never played in public with them before. Eric Brown took to the skins and despite any potential anxiety the band might’ve felt, he was great! Weege asked Brown to count off a song, leading to this exchange:

Brown: “I’m nervous!”

Weege: “You take all the time you need.”

AJ: “NOBODY LOOK AT HIM!”

The jokes and stellar sounds continued throughout the evening, with AJ gleefully asked “What kind of exercise do lazy people do? . . . Diddly squats!” And looked over at Brown, who obliged him with a “ba-dum tssh.” “See, we couldn’t do that before!” Upon the bartender placing a “tip bucket” at the front of the stage, the musicians even began an improvised ditty about the importance of tipping your performers, seen here:

The night came to an end all too soon with a spirited original of Weege’s that often gets stuck in my head. It’s a paean to her sweetheart, Josh, called “Ohio.” The refrain goes thusly: “O, O, O, H-I-O, O, O, I left my Buckeye baby in Ohio.” The middle is a freewheeling, jazzy clang of piano and Weege’s scatting and it’s one of my personal favorites. A powerful “Oh! Darling” by the Beatles and the Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues,” with Tom singing, finished off the show.

I was so psyched to have seen the debut performance of the trio’s newest member and to immortalize it in print! Towards the end of the performance, Lexi sweetly said to Brown, “I hate most people and things, but I don’t hate you, Eric.” What more testimony do you need?

To submit a review or story for consideration hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

The following two tabs change content below.
Publicist, journalist, artist, witch. Live music is life!