Spotlight Series: The Weeklings

The Weeklings - Spotlight Series

Audiences at the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series are in for a trip down memory lane tonight with veteran power-pop band The Weeklings! Renowned as a staple of the annual “Beatles Bash” in New Jersey as well as skilled original songwriters, the band’s members have formerly performed alongside evergreen rock and pop acts like Electric Light Orchestra, Paul McCartney, Styx and many more. Last week, they played at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks – we’re still celebrating the best of 1960s rock-n-roll with The Weeklings at Trenton’s Mill Hill Park tonight at 5PM!

The spirit of classic rock and pop run deep in The Weeklings’ musicianship. Much like the chemistry of McCartney and Lennon, the band sports a double-edged sword when it comes to writing and covering hit songs – Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger. Burtnik is an established name in music – he’s a former member of Styx and still performs alongside the Electric Light Orchestra. He even portrayed McCartney himself, one of his songwriting idols, in a Broadway production of Beatlemania! Burger, too, earned his chops writing songs for Styx, and has opened for acts that need no introduction – Meatloaf, Hootie and the Blowfish and Robert Palmer – to name a few.

Paying tribute to their mop-top predecessors emerged naturally from the cover band scene and a love for 60’s revivalism. All the members of the band – including drummer Joe Bellia and bassist John Merjave – had been performing with several different bands at “Beatles Bashes” – annual shows at The State Theater in New Brunswick, N.J. They met, and immediately clicked into place – with the solid rhythm section of Merjave and Bellia, Burtnik and Burger had ample space to recreate a timeless, nostalgic vibe they had been looking for. They even went so far as to assign each member a nickname: Burtnik, Burger, Merjave and Bellia became “Lefty Weekling,” “Zeek Weekling,” “Rocky Weekling” and “Smokestack Weekling,” respectively.

The band explores The Beatles’ canon like no one else ever has – Burger narrated a story to the New Jersey Stage about buying a little known LP titled “The Songs The Beatles Gave Away,” and deciding to re-purpose and perform these little-known gems: “Our first album had six rare tracks The Beatles wrote but never recorded and six we wrote ourselves. Something lovely happened, which was when people told us they couldn’t tell who wrote which.”

They took the similarity to the next level while recording their most recent album, “Studio 2,” produced entirely at Abbey Road Studios, where The Beatles themselves recorded countless classic tracks. This rare experience allowed them to closely recreate the piano and guitar sounds one might hear on the “Abbey Road” album itself – in an interview with app., the band acknowledges the honor of “working in this museum of incredible music history.”

Few bands will help you relive the glory days of jangly rhythms, catchy melodies and snappy dance moves as well as The Weeklings – whose work goes beyond a faithful recreation of The Beatles. Their own music is so well-executed, it feels fresh all over again. So get ready to experience golden-age rock and pop like never before at this amazing performance at the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series in Mill Hill Park, tonight at 5PM!

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