August 27, 2011
Fantasy Springs Special Event Center in Indio
Driving to the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino for a show in 100 degree weather is quite the gamble. Luckily, I gambled and won as Weezer rocked the Fantasy Springs Special Event Center. Security guards had problems from the opening drum shuffle of "Undone-The Sweater Song" keeping fans in their seats.
A bespectacled Rivers Cuomo greeted the audience in Spanish strumming his acoustic guitar revving up the crowd. "El Scorcho" was as hot as the title suggests with Scott Shriner and Patrick Wilson playfully volleying a soccer ball between them. The evening heavily leaned on their debut album as the distorted guitars roared for "My Name Is Jonas."
Palm-muted guitar chords continued to pummel the crowd as "Hash Pipe" found Cuomo changing the lyrics to "Peace Pipe" as a reference to the Indian-owned casino. The rocking refused to stop with "The World Has Turned And Left Me Here" sounding just like it did in 1994. Hearing the rarely played b-side "Susanne" made the perilous drive out to Indio worth it.
Guitarist Brian Bell switched to the keyboards for "Perfect Situation" as Cuomo encouraged the crowd to sing along "like angels in heaven". The audience went crazy when Cuomo ventured out into the crowd for their cover of Foster The People "Pumped Up Kicks."
Cuomo would introduce the band members while they sang a line from "Pork & Beans" as Josh Freese was billed as being straight out of Orange County. "Say It Ain't So" continued the deluge of songs from their debut album as the fans next to me played along with their air guitars.
"Longtime Sunshine" was introduced by Cuomo as a song they have only played a few times as the song is from their scrapped second album Songs from The Black Hole. "Beverly Hills" had Bell rip off a sweet guitar talkbox solo that would have impressed Peter Frampton. Bell also stepped it up during "Holiday" taking a turn on lead vocals.
Security was challenged again during "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" as Cuomo circled the entire arena with cell phones and camera flashes keeping you up to date on his location. "Only In Dreams" had Bell hug some adoring fans in the front mid song. Cuomo would appear by himself for the opening chords of "Island In The Sun" before being joined by the rest of the band during the encore.
"Buddy Holly" closed out the night in grand fashion as the the whole band joined Josh Freese on the drum kit for a gigantic drum solo below their giant flashing "W" sign. I wouldn't be surprised if Weezer returns to Indio again for Coachella. Weezer will return to Orange County on September 10th at the Doheny Days festival.
White Arrows by the way of Los Angeles impressed with their synthesizer soaked psychedelic opening set that included a convincing cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire". They gleefully mentioned it was a dream to open for Weezer. Their merch table was busy upon my departure which is a good sign for the up and coming band.
Personal Bias: I'm considering attending the Weezer Cruise.
Crowd: Gamblers, High rollers, and very dedicated Weezer fans.
Random Notebook Dump: I forgot to use my ticket stub for ten dollars of free slot play.
"Undone-The Sweater Song"
"My Name Is Jonas"
"The World Has Turned And Left Me Here"
"No One Else"
"Pumped Up Kicks"
"Pork And Beans"
"Say It Ain't So"
"In The Garage"
"(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To"
"Only In Dreams"
"Island In The Sun"