By Troy Aldrich
The Englert, 221 E. Washington St., served as the first stop for The Weepies’ 10-year anniversary tour. The band members have evolved from vagabond road warriors to domesticated parents, and they have made the transition proudly.
“If you see me making funny faces, it’s me tamping down the dad jokes,” said Steve Tannen, the Weepies’ co-leader.
This was a moment that came after a flurry of on-stage humor that was well-received by the Englert audience. Tannen is now a father of three, and his relatively newly found lifestyle seemed to be a shell he couldn’t escape on stage, showing no displeasure to the crowd.
The duo settled in Iowa City five years ago, but they have seemingly hid from the spotlight of local music venues. This year’s set is the band’s first appearance at Mission Creek.
“It’s accessible but vital,” said Tannen in an interview. “It’s a nice start for the tour; if you forget something at home, you can just drive up Linn Street and get it.”
The Weepies are touring the 10th anniversary of their album, *Hideaway.* The album’s tour was put on hold when the band’s co-leader, Deb Talan, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“These songs were all written and recorded more than 10 years ago,” Talan said. “It feels like somebody else wrote them.”
This served as a sort of explanation for the band’s quirky on-stage comments. The jokes and conversation that took place were space fillers during time spent tuning, searching, and adjusting capos.
However, once the dust settled, it became clear that the band had been playing this music for decades. The harmonies Tannen and Talan produce can seemingly only be achieved by husband and wife.
Toward the end of the set, there was a back-and-forth that began to occur. As Tannen continued joking, blaming himself for sad lyrics and telling stories about the couple’s marriage, the audience experienced whiplash from chuckles that preceded every tune, and sad tunes announced as “Sadurday” tunes.
The Weepies managed to shake off the dust when closing out the set. As the music reached a climax, Tannen left his partner on the stage alone with bassist Dave Flower to kick off a two-part exit, consisting of tracks from their first album, *Happiness*.
The two tracks were followed by two on-stage kisses that left the Englert audience on its feet.
The Weepies’ set was paired with an opener who is an Iowa City native, Elizabeth Moen.
She performed her second Mission Creek set, bringing some of her new music to the stage in hopes of recording a new record.
“Here’s the scary part of the set where I try a bunch of new music,” Moen said. “If you like them, go buy my old record so I can record another album.”
She performed “Red,” “Matilda,” and “Planetarium,” all songs that she hopes will land on upcoming releases.
The new songs added a fresh flavor to Moen’s previous performances, which have consisted of music from her first two releases that Iowa City has became familiar with.