Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Going to a Weezer show, you've got to arrive with a few things already understood: 1. If you're still of the mindset that "Pinkerton is the only Weezer album I like because I'm an old school fan," you should sell your ticket to a 14-year-old boy and go home, 2. Weezer attracts as many dude-bros as nerdlings wearing black-rimmed glasses, and 3. Weezer is not a 'deep catalog' band; they will run through the hits, allowing anyone who has turned on a radio in the past two decades to know at least three or four songs.
If you show up with those three things in mind, you will undoubtedly have a good time. I definitely did. At this point, 15 years after Weezer's artistic coup/incredible masterpiece Pinkerton, the band consistently takes all the vitriol critics spit at them and turn it into viable pop music -- as if Rivers Cuomo is saying, "Why, yes, thank you; we do write plastic-y radio pop hooks, and we do it well! Check out our Lil Wayne collab!"
Weezer's show Sunday night at the quite awesome outdoor Stage AE was a lot of fun, plain and simple. Aside from the completely out of place "Paranoid Android" cover (Note: Rivers, honing your radio pop chops, then churning out a weirdo classic makes you seem out of touch, not quirky), Weez's set packed in hook after hook, ranging from the new ("Memories" from last year's Hurley album) to classic (Blue Album cuts including "Surf Wax America," "The Sweater Song," "Buddy Holly," "In the Garage," "Say It Ain't So" and an unexpected, bombastic "Only in Dreams").
Cuomo's Steelers banter kept 'Burgh fans screaming. "When I was a kid, my favorite team was the Steelers; Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene. I wanted to be a pro football player -- that seems pretty comical now," he said before launching into the uber-catchy "Perfect Situation."
And honestly, that's what Sunday night's show was -- a warm night, a not-too-crowded outdoor venue and a band whose catalog is so broad, it can fill a 90-minute set with nothing but hits. Hate all you want -- I sure have in the past -- but that's pretty damn impressive.