By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
The Lava Lounge
Wednesday, June 21
Who the hell do these jerks think they are? A shameless, shameful Weezer imitation band is what, but worse, because they even dress and look like Weezer. And their wretched music is such blatant thievery that someone oughta call Weezer and tell them, so they can sue these ass —WHOA!! HEEEYYY!!! They are Weezer! What geniuses! Such crafty execution of the old big-band-playing-under-a-pseudonym trick! Heh—knew it all the time! Actually, we did, about two weeks prior, a "secret show" that really wasn't much of a secret—especially when the marquee outside reads WEEZER in big, bold letters (KROQ supposedly spilled even more beans). Also, it couldn't have been a secret if wealthy Japanese fan-kids were able to fly here solely for this gig. Yes! Really!
This was a warm-up show for Weezer's Warped Tour stint, and the Lounge peeps were kind enough to let in the under-21 crowd for the occasion (banished to a roped-off area far from the stage; still, at least they got in, though they did look awfully sad there stuck behind the rope).
Long Beach's Mention opened with a fine set, followed by Other Star People, Jennifer Finch's band, who were . . . okay. (Stolen line, courtesy of Alison M. Rosen: "There's nothing worse than a hard-rock girl being perky.")
Then came the nerd-a-licious geek-rock icons themselves, to a chorus of very loud screaming—one of the Japanese girls actually wept with ecstasy (cult bands! What're you gonna do?). They opened with "My Name Is Jonas" and proceeded from there into a hunk of tunes off both their albums (all the hits, naturally, like "Buddy Holly" and "Undone (The Sweater Song)," plus a couple from a new one expected this fall), all of which sounded sweet and sticky, like really great, fuzzy power pop. No wonder the power-pop-obsessed Japanese are so into 'em—remember all those orgasmic crowd screams on Cheap Trick at Budokan? The girls and boys swooned over the twitchy mannerisms of singer Rivers Cuomo, and everybody who could yelped along to every damn word, even during "Say It Ain't So," our least favorite Weezer song on account of it being so Hall & Oates mellow.
Then weird stuff started happening, like a mosh pit—at a Weezer show! And then a fight broke out—a small, easily quashed skirmish, but nonetheless notable because it was at a Weezer show! Nerds can kick ass! (Stolen line, courtesy of Arrissia Owen: "Someone must have stolen their protractors!") On the whole, a very hoppin' show. Now we understand them a little better—they're the anti-Korn/Limp Bizkit, as much a vital alternative today as they were to whatever prevailed back in '94. Goat Punishment, man—that's the band to watch.
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