The last time I saw Weezer was at Coachella 2005, one of their first live appearances in support of Make Believe. At the time, the band was still over the top and dramatic, but the main focus of the band was on Rivers – and as a lead man, he was focused and intense. Weezer 2008 is a much different band. For starters, Rivers (no longer clean cut with glasses) – was relaxed the whole show, and was very comedic.
As the show kicked off, the whole band walked on stage wearing white jump suits, with Rivers wearing a sock over his head as he ripped into “My Name Is Jonas”. Soon after, they stripped off the suits to reveal they were wearing red Reebok jogging suits that said “Weezer” on the back of them. The biggest difference in the Weezer of today is the dynamics of the band. Anyone that has listened to the Red Album knows that different members of the band sing on multiple songs. And while the other band members played their songs live, it also carried over to the whole show. During “El Scorcho,” Rivers didn’t even sing on the track. Instead, each member of the band traded off vocals spots.
The band now seemed to be about unity, and each member getting their turn in the spotlight. In a way, it was nice to see the band so together, and for them to be having so much fun. However, this was also my biggest complaint. The band seemed to be having too much fun, and at times the show was sloppy. Rivers didn’t seem to be taking everything seriously, and it came off half-assed. Although I must point out, when Rivers was goofing off, the rest of the band stepped in. They were on their A game all night. Which, it should come as no surprise that the highlight of the whole show was the band doing a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Time”.
What did come as a surprise was how multi-talented drummer Pat Wilson is! He played the guitar and sang the vocals for this song, and he was phenomenal. Having seen Roger Waters do the same rendition recently, I can honestly say Wilson did a much better job. His guitar parts were just as good as Gilmour’s, and the same could be said for the vocals. The other interesting moment of the show came when Tome DeLonge of Angels & Airwaves joined Weezer on stage to singe a duet version of “Undone”. After Rivers gave a 2 minute speech about how Angels & Airwaves extended a hand to them when they were down on their luck back in 2005, they kicked into the song. It wasn’t the best rendition of the song by any means, but many of DeLonge’s hometown fans were extremely happy to see him on stage with the band.
For an encore, the band brought on the stage 20+ fans that won a contest on the radio to play on stage with them, “Hootenanny”-style. While I thought it was gimmicky at first, it was very sentimental, and quite fun to sing along to. The best way to sum up the show was it was “shaky”. Some songs such as “Perfect Situation”, “Pink Triangle” and “Hashpipe” were excellent live, but others seemed like the band were just phoning it in. I can’t say I would highly recommend seeing Weezer to anyone, but the tour is coming to an end anyways . It really is nice to see the band having fun again, but hopefully they can take what they have now, and combine it with Rivers focus and intensity that I saw back in 2005. Now that would be a perfect Weezer.
Weezer 10/17/2008 – Say It Ain’t So
Weezer 10/17/2008 – Undone w/ Tom DeLonge
+ Opening Act: Angels & Airwaves
Angels & Airwaves 10/17/2008 The Adventure