Fond reminiscence and good vibes were all that the audience felt at Slim’s this Sunday when Weezer played two different sets that spanned across their entire discography.
Even before doors opened, fans had a hard time containing their excitement while they waited in huge lines stretching across the entire block in front of Slim’s. Elaborate costumes alluding to the Weezer sub-culture and conversations predicting the lineup kept fans preoccupied as they eagerly waited for the venue to open its doors.
Once the moment finally arrived, people filed in one-by-one into the venue because of the rather strict process of admission due to the madness of the surrounding area. Although the procedure was rather exaggerated; in hindsight however, the precautions were necessary in order to keep some sort of peace.
Once the crowd was ushered in, they were greeted by a banner for Weezer’s new album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, and four screens which created a concave that enclosed the crowd – this lead to a strong buzz in the crowd for what was to come. Weezer’s crew, outfitted in spiffy lab coats, contributed to the hype with their welcoming personalities as they entertained everyone by high-fiving anyone standing near while they set the stage.
However, once everything was set, frontman Rivers Cuomo humbly took to the stage while fans hollered and cheered at his arrival. Cuomo came armed with an acoustic guitar to kick off the unplugged first half of the show, but confusion and inaudible murmur filled the room as Cuomo tuned his guitar and pressed the pedals for five minutes without saying a word. The crowd held their breath as they waited for Cuomo to start speaking, but he broke the silence jokingly saying “Yeah, everything works.” In response, the crowd erupted with laughter as if the joke were told by a dear old friend. Cuomo opened with “You Gave Your Love to Me Softly,” a song from his solo project. The crowd was extremely receptive of Cuomo’s charm as he often smiled and smirked to individuals in the crowd.
Slowly, the band members joined him one-by-one after each consecutive song. Rhythm guitarist, Brian Bell, joined and performed “Why Bother?” in a duet with Cuomo; who was then followed by bassist, Scott Shriner, who, impressively, managed to play the entire show with a cast on his right arm; finally drummer, Patrick Wilson, joined the gang and together the super-group played the catchy “El Scorcho.” Cuomo often beckoned for the crowd to sing along to which the crowd heartily jumped in to fill in the blanks. The set contained many fan favorites such as “Island in the Sun” to which the audience gleefully sang along. Weezer concluded with “Buddy Holly,” an old classic from their 1994 debut album. Overall, the acoustic session was very well received by the crowd as they would often sing along to the performers’ familiar tunes and enjoy the shenanigans between the band members.
As the musicians walked off stage in preparation for the electric portion of the show in which they were to play their new album in its entirety, the lab-coat-suited crew rushed on stage in their usual chipper demeanor to prepare for the second-half of the performance. The transition between the sets was seamless and speedy, and not before long, the lights dimmed and the four screens surrounding the stage broadcast old black-and-white film. A bright flash of backlight shined on all the band members as well as on the crowd in order to open up the explosive set as Cuomo strummed on his famous customized Sonic Blue Warmoth Stratocaster to the first track “Ain’t Got Nobody.”
The entire set kept up with the steady pace of power pop and alternative rock; however, throughout the set, Weezer incorporated a multitude of different acts to spruce up the already dynamic show. Thao Nguyen, of the group, Thao With the Get Down Stay Down, was welcomed on stage to sing “Go Away” alongside Cuomo. During “Cleopatra,” signs with the numbers “5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40” were dispersed among the crowd who then synchronized their movements of the signs to the analogous stanzas of the song. Weezer tended to rely on their light effects and music rather than having a strong stage presence.
Reliance on such effects was emphasized during “Anonymous” when many of the audience members were pulled from the crowd and outfitted with black gowns to join Weezer on stage while confetti canons shot from (seemingly) all sides of the venue. To close their set, Weezer played “Return to Ithaka” which was rather lack-luster compared to the breathtaking spectacle of “Anonymous.” But due to such dedicated fans, an encore was called and Weezer played “No Other One” from their classic album, “Pinkerton,” which was a perfect a way to close the night – good feels with a hint of nostalgia for their older work.
Weezer’s influence on the sphere of alternative rock was definitely present, but don’t miss the opportunity to see them play material from their new album “Everything Will Be Alright In The End,” because despite its new flavors, it still contains staccatos of the Weezer we know and love.
Article and photos by Edfil Dulay