The Vector Arena was nicely full as was the anticipation and spirits of those within it; having been entertained by young Sydney indie-popsters Cloud Control and the wonderful psychedelic Unknown Mortal Orchestra (who had previously blown me away the night before at a much smaller club-show) – a very familiar 1980s American action-tv theme-tune dear to the hearts of age-appropriate Weezer fans heralded the appearance of Rivers, Patrick, Brian, and Scott – each with their very own spot light beamed from the back of the stadium. I rather not spoil the surprise of which TV show – but it made even more sense after the intermission. (Yes, there was a perfectly timed 20 minute intermission separating the who Weezer halfs – the first have a time-travel show of greatest hits – and the latter, their 1994 eponymous debut – affectionally known as their Blue album.)
They kick off in fine form with 2009’s hit (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To – probably the best song from Raditude in my opinion – before Rivers, with a croaky voice explains in showman-style how the night with proceed ; adding “My name is RIvers and I am going to sing and play guitar for you tonight – as they bust into Pork and Beans from 2008’s Red album, it becomes clear that the first half is, pretty much, hit for hit, going to rewind us back to where it all began. It also becomes clear that we, everyone in that arena, is going to freakin’ love every minute of the show – as it’s greeted with rapture and an early seething mosh at the front end of the stadium. Brilliant.
Weezer are, it becomes quickly evident, consummate show-men – Rivers loses his guitar and before we know what’s happening he’s left the stage skipping and prancing down one side of the Vector Arena followed by the spotlight – jumping onto one of the bar-tops – as, suitably, they play Troublemaker; returning to the stage to collect his guitar to bust into (a) Perfect Situation.
Make Believe’s Beverly Hills is well received before I confessed to kinda totally forgetting about how freaking awesome Island In The Sun was/is (until, of course, Weezer reminded me in no uncertain terms). Then Hashpipe. By now songs were just greeted by whoops and cheers of overjoyed appreciation over and over again – this was a concert where four men gave thousands of people exactly what they wanted over and over again, It was a like a totally awesome Xmas morning where an arena of people get unwrap gift after gift and each one is perfect and not one is a pair of socks you don’t want. El-f*cken-Scorchio was like every shitty xmas present you ever received in your life up to this point of time just evaporated and disappeared. Tired of Sex and then intermission.
Unofficial fifth member of Weezer Karl Koch (Weezer historian and archivist) voice-overs a sweetly compiled slide show – in the style of the painful slide-shows my (and anyone close to my age)’s parents used to do of their holidays – only this was, naturally, a million times better – as an introduction to part two – complete with a slide of their first ever printed review – “…blatant Nirvana wanna-bes” and flyers and posters to their earliest shows – one at Club Dump in LA – which Karl tells us would later become a club we might have heard of, famous now as the scene of another River’s death.
And, then they return – a stage set changed to something more humble and Rivers evens seems to have changed his attire to something more akin to their 1994 debut – My Name is Jonas is greeted with warm appreciation as they diligently and lovingly play the record song for song. The impression that the band were loving it as much as the fans were was strong and pretty awesome to feel – a genuine affection for their own history as much as for their fans. And the fans just loved it – singing along the Blue hits Buddy Holly, Sweater Song and, hugely, Say It Ain’t So.
Rivers bids us thanks and goodnight as we know they are about to play Only In Dreams; which they do; we applaud and cheer; they link arms to take a bow and those who were seated offer a standing ovation.
How good was Weezer? So very, very good.
- review by Andrew Tidball