Weezer. No, not you after your P.E. lesson! The band!

Weezer is a band from California consisting of lead guitarist & lead vocalist Rivers Cuomo, rhythm guitarist & backing vocalist Brian Bell, bassist & backing vocalist Scott Shriner and drummer & backing vocalist Pat Wilson.

 

I had the pleasure of seeing Weezer live this year (with Dinosaur Pile-Up) on one of their somewhat rare trips to the UK, in support of their new album “Weezer” – or, so it doesn’t get confused with their other albums “Weezer”, “Weezer” or “Weezer”, the “white album”. Tonight I’m going to do my best to talk about their show.

The setlist was the perfect mix of oldies, goldies and newies. With the band incoporating songs from classics like the “blue album” and “Pinkerton”, new albums “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” and the “white album” and hits from their less memorable albums like the “red album”, the “green album” and “Raditude”.

Weezer kicked off their set with “California Kids”, the third single from their latest album “Weezer” AKA the “white album”. After this particularly rousing performance, the band took us back to 1994 with a blazing showcase of immaculate timelessness in their performance of “My Name Is Jonas” which left older fans such as myself pleased and eager for more. Rivers commented on how the band hadn’t been to the UK for a while and promised more dates in the future, the room exploded with joy. But as there is with happiness, there’s a comedown – and this comedown was in the form of a performance of one of Weezer’s dullest singles, “Hash Pipe”. This performance of “Hash Pipe” was exceptionally uncomfortable, as you could clearly see how much of a good time Rivers wasn’t having performing this song. Luckily the song is barely three minutes in length, so this uncomfortableness was soon over because Weezer kicked into a blazing rendition of the lead single from “Everything Will Be Alright In The End”, “Back To The Shack”. I’ve always really liked this song, and I very much thought of it as Weezer’s grand comeback. So it was appropriate they played it after “Hash Pipe”, wasn’t it? Next up: “L.A. Girlz”, the fourth single from the “white” album. “L.A. Girlz” is a particularly uplifting song that seemed to go down well with the seemingly small portion of fans that had heard the new album. Following “L.A. Girlz” was one of my personal favourite Weezer songs, “Pinkerton” classic “El Scorcho”. Hearing the crowd all scream “AY CARAMBA!” is probably one of my favourite moments of 2016. Sadly, again, following my excitement of hearing one of my favourite Weezer songs came some more mediocrity in the form of “Troublemaker” from the “red” album. Now, to be fair, although I think “Troublemaker” is very boring, Weezer did a grand job of it live. Fair play, Weezer. Grab your world records and internet memes, it’s time for “Pork and Beans”. I’ve always enjoyed “Pork and Beans”, it was actually a warm-up song in my college band. A personal highlight of the night. Following “Pork and Beans” was “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To)” from “Raditude”. This song went down REALLY well with the crowd, although I thought for the first 8 bars they were covering “A Town Called Malice”… Back to the “white” album we go with second single, “Do You Wanna Get High?”. I was surprised by this song’s live capability, I thought this songs drone-ish vocals and slow nature would be a detriment on the overall pacing of the show, but it wasn’t, it was actually one of the best performances of the night. “Cleopatra”, the second single from “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” is on barely after the last song ended. I didn’t really know this song, so I’ve not much to say about it. It was good, though. We’re staying with “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” though as a song I actually recognise is being played now, “The Waste Land” another great addition to the setlist. Weezer once again return to the “white” album for the second-to-last time with lead single “Thank God For Girls” which sees Rivers Cuomo rapping and dancing like a Dad at his child’s first school disco – thoroughly entertaining performance. The stage lights turn blue and an already white-hot crowd explodes into a frenzy as Weezer begin playing what many consider one of their greatest songs, “Say It Ain’t So”. Seriously, I’ve heard fewer crowds sound louder than Weezer’s audience bellowing the chorus at the top of their lungs. Grade-A performance. “The Good Life” from “Pinkerton” is up next, and again, not much to say about this song but it was great. After finishing “The Good Life” guitarist Brian Bell decides that he’s going to sing the next song, and he did a bloody great job of it. This song is “El Scorcho”‘s b-side, “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly”. The crowd were going nuts for Brian’s vocals. Seeing how happy he looked with himself after the performance was a bonus. Here we begin what I called “The Hit Parade”. “King of the World”, the lead single from the “white” album is up now and it made me chuckle because I had memories of Rivers playing this song on “The Tonight Show” dressed as Elvis. The performance was great, from the talk box effected guitar riff to the shouty chorus. Next, “Island In The Sun”. Not much to say… It’s just “Island In The Sun”, a somewhat boring song that sounded great live. The last song before the encore now, and the song I’d been waiting for (and lost my shit to when they started)… “Undone – The Sweater Song”. I love this song and I was so happy it was on the setlist. This song went down amazingly with the crowd. So much so, that half an hour after the show had ended there were still people in the Sainsbury’s across the road singing the chorus. Perfect performance, honestly.

Weezer go away for a short five minute break before coming back onto the stage to deliver a great performance of “Beverly Hills”. Rivers thanks the fans for coming and supporting the band for the last 22 years of their existence before sending the show out with a bang with an absolutely immense performance of 1994 classic, “Buddy Holly”.

Overall, Weezer put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I’d advise any Weezer fan, new or old to go see them the next time they play in your area.

Have you seen Weezer live? What did you think of it? Let me know.

Thanks,

Ryan.

Published by Ryan Hagan