Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Weezer live in Toronto (concert review)

Before his unfortunate car crash this weekend, Rivers Cuomo and Weezer played the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  Our friend Scotty Niagara was there and was gracious enough to provide us this review:

"Saturday night Weezer played the ACC as headliners for 102.1 The Edge’s first annual Jingle Bell Rock.
And so the night commenced with the fine art of attempting to enter the venue not too late as to miss any of Weezer, but no so early as to see too much of the opening acts. I faired pretty well and saw only a few songs of Jack’s Mannequin, the band immediately proceeding Weezer.

With low expectations in place, Jack’s Mannequin met them. They were tolerable and had the crowd somewhat enthused. Their set up is unique from the typical alternative rock four piece in that they are guitar, piano, bass and drums with the front man playing the baby grand piano. Almost like almost like an emo Elton John.

Before Weezer took the stage the morning guys from 102.1 The Edge came out to say a few words. My girlfriend asked who they were, I told her and said that they mainly do dick and fart jokes. Then the ringleader, Dean, called his counterpoint, Todd, a “dickfart” almost on queue.

Weezer came out blasting and didn’t let up. They did a brief guitar blazing intro before launching into the hard rocking “Hash Pipe”. They tour with an extra member leaving front man Rivers Cuomo, who only dons his guitar periodically, free to do the geek rocker persona that made him famous. He has a ton of stage presence and an awkward charm that resonates with the crowd. Their nineteen song set list read like a veritable greatest hits spread across their seven studio albums, with the largest number of tunes coming from their extremely popular debut album.

During songs from their new album Raditude they kept the crowd interested by using gimmicks such as pulling a girl up on stage to sing “(If You're Wondering If I Want You to) I Want You To” with Rivers, (she was an obvious plant because she was just too damn good) and while guitarist Brian Bell sang “El Sorcho”, Rivers used that time to sneak to a small elevated stage behind the sound board where he sang the next song “I’m Your Daddy”. During the encore they even did an MGMT cover with a Lady GaGa interlude complete with a blonde wig that demonstrates despite the somewhat melancholy subject matter of his early work Rivers knows that Weezer live shows are, and have also been, about having fun. They are a confident band that doesn’t take them selves too seriously.

Interestingly, Rivers messed up the lyrics twice and both songs were off the aforementioned debut album. One instance was during the final song “Buddy Holly”, which he has sung for fifteen years and thousands of time. Could this be the early signs of age catching up with the almost forty Rivers? It would be hard to tell from the energetic performance he gave Saturday night. Overall, a very good show.

Here’s hoping next time they come around it’s like the summer they toured with the Pixies so I can relax and forego the pre-concert guessing game."

Weezer's website
Weezer's Myspace

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EM said...

One of my coworkers LOVES Jack's Mannequin - I wonder if she was at the show...

Ashley Coles said...

Hey! It's Ashley (the girl who sang with Weezer)!
Thanks so much for the sweet comment but I SWEAR I wasn't a plant haha it was totally random!
I waited in line for 5 hours in the cold drinking vodka allllll day haha!
I'm a musician, I'll admit but they had no idea!
It's been a dream of mine to get on the ACC stage... and do it with Weezer WOWWWWWWWWWWW!

Unknown said...

Ashley, thanks for the background. I'm glad you had a great time.