Number Nine

Since 2000, I’ve been to nine Weezer concerts.  Yesterday evening, The Civee (who is not a Weezer fan) and I attended my latest, which took place in the Palace at Auburn Hills located pretty damn far away from Detroit.

Even though I’m not one of the cool kids anymore (and it’s debatable as to if I ever was), we had floor tickets and enjoyed the show from the crowd.  To say it was an interesting Weezer show would not be giving the concert justice.  

The music was great.  And the band did more songs than I’d ever see them do before.  But the band seemed more alive this time.  Up to and including my fifth Weezer show in December 2001, lead singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo would stand in one place while capably performing the guitar and vocals.  Since then, his presence has grown by leaps and bounds, as I mentioned during my last show:

Lead singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo was like a human dynamo. He was way more chatty than ever before…didn’t mind letting others take the spotlight, letting every member of the band front at least one song. During El Scorcho, Rivers gave up lead guitar duties and actually walked/danced/staggered around the stage while singing.

The amount of action going on on the stage made 2005 Rivers look like he did during my very first show.  Not only did Rivers sing and play guitar, he ran around the stage, danced, chatted up his band-mates, clapped, and delivered some blistering solos while jumping on a trampoline. There was a lot of life to the show, and that was a good thing.

Opening acts Tokyo Police Club and Angels and Airwaves were more than capable of starting the evening.  I hadn’t heard any of the output of either band, but I enjoyed the sets (even if TPC sounded repetitive and A&A (or AVA as their shirts read) was a bit too dramatic).  But when Weezer came to the stage in white matching overalls (which they later shed in favor of matching red tracksuits), it was time to rock.

The setlist spanned their career, and each member got to take a few turns singing lead on a song.  I do have two complaints about the setlist: It was virtually identical to the previous few shows and with the exception of a group-efforted My Name is Jonas and Brian-fronted Susanne, the older songs were strictly singles.  I would have liked to have heard something along the lines of Don’t Let Go, No One Else or Getchoo.  But I guess when you try and cram six-plus albums worth of songs into one show, not everyone is going to get what they want.

My only other slight complaint is the trading-off of lead vocalists.  It’s fine for Pat to sing his song “Automatic” or to turn in a cover of “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” But it’s still weird hearing Brian singing El Scorcho.

Six of the show’s songs were off the newest album, which were all strong performances.  They actually pulled off a live version of The Greatest Man That Ever Lived, and I have to say I was pleased to hear them play Dreamin’ (with recorded bird noises) in a live setting.

Other highlights of the show included about 30 fans (including Scott’s dad) joining them onstage in Hootenanny form for Island in the Sun and Beverly Hills.  This was enjoyable, but about 25 of those fans had guitars–it would have been more interesting had there been a second tuba or some other instruments rather than 25 guitars.

The band closed the night with a Rivers-fronted cover of Sliver and Buddy Holly.  The band sounded tight throughout the show, but really shined (probably because Rivers wasn’t distracted by the trampoline) with these two songs.  

I’m glad Weezer is still tight musically, and isn’t afraid of trying new things.  I’m also happy The Civee appeared to have a good time.  The band has grown a lot in the few years I’ve been seeing them live, and I’m looking forward to the next tour–I just hope it’s closer than Detroit.*

*I’m sure the city isn’t crazy about me, but I can’t stand Detroit.  Driving to/through the city is a nightmare.  If you’re not getting lost, you’re stuck in traffic or almost hit by some gigantic SUV going 95.

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