Concert Review

Quasi Comes to Motorco

Quasi burst onto stage amidst a flurry of bird sounds, with bandmates and former spouses Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss taking places behind their respective instruments, huge grins on their faces.

They launched into the track “Birds,” maintaining the same energy, smiling at each other, with Sam enthusiastically punctuating his keyboard with his left foot. As the two progressed through the set, their dedicated fans singing along to every word, it became clear that these are two highly dedicated, highly talented musicians who will never grow tired of what they do.

Sam Coomes on guitar, keyboard, and vocals

Quasi formed officially in 1993, with Coomes and Weiss departing from their former trio called Motorgoat, releasing an initial self-recorded and self-released cassette. In 1998, they released the album “Featuring “Birds,” followed up by the 1999 “Field Studies,” both recorded in Portland, Oregon. Last year marked their latest release, with an album entitled “Breaking the Balls of History.” 

Both Coomes and Weiss are incredibly seasoned musicians. Together, they had previously served in the background band for Elliot Smith, and Coomes was a part of Smith’s previous project called Heatmiser. Weiss was also the primary drummer for Sleater Kinney, and has since gone on to perform with Bright Eyes. 

This expertise and clear abundance of talent shone through. Coomes and Weiss lit up the stage, clearly enjoying every moment.

Janet Weiss on drums and vocals

At one point, Janet, with an air machine beneath her drum set dramatically blowing her blonde locks to the side, thanked the crowd for coming to see them and allowing them to do what they do.

“And that being said,” she said. “Now we’re going to go crazy.” 

And they did go crazy, closing the concert with an extra four tracks, including “Riots & Jokes,” “You Can Stay But You Gotta Go,” “The Sword of God” and “Rockabilly Party.” My friend and I stared, awestruck, enjoying the fervor with which they played.

Walking away from the show, I was struck with a distinct sense of pride for being alive, for seeing people being able to perform with so much passion and care, for the audience that clung onto every song, for myself to dissolve into the music.

Top Tracks: 

  1. “It’s Raining”
  2. “I Never Want To See You Again”
  3. “Please Do”
  4. “Death Culture Blues”
  5. “Our Happiness is Guaranteed”

By Wordgirl

Between her time making playlists for future DJ sets, Wordgirl loves to watch movies and read books. You can find her hanging out with her cat, Mouse, and playing music too loud in her headphones.