Concert Review: The Weight @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 09/23/2023
The fans yelled out a collective “Whoa!” as The Weight Band took the stage. “We feel the same way,” shouted back bass player Albert Rogers, who played with Sid McGinnis, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Vivino, and Albert Lee.
The Weight Band was back at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, their first performance in years at a venue once credited with having the best acoustics in the country by The New York Times.
The excitement was palpable for a group celebrating its 10th anniversary, the first being at a pig farm in Pennsylvania, declared keyboardist Brian Mitchell, whose credits include Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Al Green, and B.B. King.
The Weight Band may just be the most unassuming gaggle of rock stars ever to capture a strong fan base. Guitarist Jim Weider, who is a Woodstock native, replaced Robbie Robertson in The Band in 1985 and had a creative bond with The Band’s drummer, Levon Helm, who died in 2012.
Weider told me in 2018: “I worked with Levon right to the last week of his life, the last show at Levon’s Barn, and he was always a people person. He would talk to the local firemen, and we did a ton of benefits. He was always a good guy. He would never snub his nose at anybody. He really made people feel at home, and to watch him at the end of his life get three Grammys playing at the last shows really meant a lot to me.”
The same can be said for Weider and the rest of The Weight Band, which has taken charge of The Band banner in every way except the name for legal reasons. Weider is the only rock star to call me personally whenever he’s playing the market instead of going through a public relations person.
The Troy concert featured Band favorites including “Ophelia, ” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Life Is A Carnival,” New York City,” “The Weight,” including the line “take a load off Annie You put the load right on me,” with all five band members on vocals, and “The Shape I’m In.”
There were several cuts from The Weight Band’s most recent album, Shines Like Gold, including “Weight of the World,” “Time Is A Thief,” and the title song written by Weider and Colin Linden:
Shines Like Gold is a couple of years old. Weider is thinking of doing another album, but he’s not sure. “It’s starting to cross my mind. I haven’t been that inspired. I was so proud of Shines Like Gold, but I don’t know if anybody ever heard it. I had a radio guy who couldn’t even get it on—it’s not even on Sirius Radio. It’s just unbelievable. I can’t make a better record than that. I might write another record if I get inspired. Maybe I’ll write a half record and do an EP-we’ll see.”
The Weight Band’s performances were just the first salvo of an impressive season that in the next month alone includes: Tuesday, September 26: Pat Metheny Dream Box Tour; Friday, September 29: Macy Gray and California Jet Club; Saturday, September 30: Ben Folds What Matters Most Tour; Monday, October 1: Seth Parker Woods; Tuesday, October 3: Victor Wooten and the Wooten Brothers; Saturday, October 7: Jake Shimabukurol; Saturday, October 7: Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaac Conversation and Song; Friday, October 20: Raelynn; and Wednesday, October 25: The Knights and Chris Thile.