I’m not sure why it took me so long to get into Weezer. I always liked them growing up, but I didn’t go out of my way to listen to them with the same kind of tenacity as my friends. And as a result, I didn’t find myself all that anxious to attend their show in my home state (Iowa) when they passed through while promoting Maladroit a few years back.
Then, the summer after graduating from high school in 2003 (when I first started abandoning the musical tastes of my younger days), I finally started to really listen to my underused copies of Pinkerton and the Blue Album and became a total Weezer addict (the Green Album was okay and Maladroit simply bored me).
Now, I found myself really irritated that I missed my chance to see them the first time around, considering the chances for any band to play Iowa more than once are usually pretty slim. So when they announced the Make Believe tour dates, I knew I just had to go, no matter where they played. I chose the Minnesota date. Sure, I had to drive four hours to get to them, but I knew it would be worth it.
The show took place at an ordinary venue in downtown Minneapolis called First Avenue. It was much, much smaller than I expected. No wonder it sold out in two hours flat. The opening act was some band called Ringside, who sounded like some sort of indie rock with a strong emphasis on the keyboards. (They’re already on Geffen Records, which I’m sure had something to do with the current popularity of the Killers.) They were decent musicians and all, but the songs were fairly forgettable and too monotonous for my taste. It certainly wasn’t the kind of band I expected to be opening for Weezer.
My friend and I found a nice spot in the crowd, and everyone impatiently awaited the arrival of their favorite rock and roll geeks. They finally took the stage and blasted right into it. As usual, stage banter was kept to a minimum, with only a few comments made here and there. Rivers Cuomo was satisfied, just smirking the whole time. It was also a surprisingly tame show as well, with almost no moshing or crowd surfing. As a matter of fact, I’d say the average age of the crowd was probably nineteen or twenty -- I guess the sixteen-year-olds of today are too busy with their Linkin Parks and their My Chemical Romances to pay much attention to the aging Weezer.
The biggest crowd-movers were “Island In The Sun,” and the set openers and closers, “Tired Of Sex” and “The Good Life.” Other definite highlights of the night for me were “In The Garage,” “My Name Is Jonas,” Brian Bell taking lead vocals on “Getchoo,” and finally seeing that big ol’ “W” in person. Pretty much everything was just spectacular to hear live, even “Beverly Hills” and “We Are All On Drugs,” two fairly awful songs in their CD recorded versions.
So was it worth the eight hours of driving and not getting to bed ‘til three in the morning? Well, let’s put it this way: They played a total of nine songs from the Blue Album and Pinkerton and zero songs from Maladroit.
Yeah, it was worth it.