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November 26, 2010
Understandably dubbed the "Memories" tour, Weezer dug up plenty of memorable older tunes to go along with a tidal wave of flashbacks at the Gibson Amphitheater by playing their classic self-titled debut Blue Album in its entirety. Weezer has undergone quite the transformation since the days of their first album. Their drummer Patrick Wilson now plays guitar, ubiquitous drum god Josh Freese wields the drum sticks and front man Rivers Cuomo is guitar free which enables him to parade across the stage to entertain the crowd.
"Memories" was a fitting opener that had Cuomo running back and forth across the stage and jumping off a trampoline that was placed on stage. Things started to get meta when actor Jorge Garcia walked on stage as his face appeared on a screen for Weezer's latest album Hurley to sing "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You to." Cuomo dipped into his bag of stage antics for "Troublemaker" by barreling into the crowd and running up and down the aisles.
A large lit up "W" was flashing as a backdrop as Weezer went back a few years to play "Pork and Beans" and "Beverly Hills." Opening act Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast would join Cuomo for vocals on "Island In the Sun." "Hash Pipe" bordered on a metal song with its huge sounding chugging guitars as Cuomo started to throw water bottles. Reaching back further, "Falling For You" closed out their main set that was non stop energy.
Weezer historian Karl Koch came out during the intermission to relive some of the memories by displaying old flyers of the band playing free shows at various clubs around town. He also paid tribute to Mykel and Carli who both used to run the Weezer fan club.
Having witnessed Weezer gigs during the Blue Album and Pinkerton tours, it was definitely nostalgic to see Rivers emerge for the second set without his glasses ready to rock with his white Gibson SG guitar. Cuomo reverted back to the era by ripping through guitar solos and standing nearly stationary at the microphone. The cheers for "My Name Is Jonas" were deafening as the band sounded extremely tight.
The obsessive, yet comedic lyrics of "No One Else" were easily conveyed by Cuomo . Desolation and loneliness prevailed during "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here." Brian Bell substituted some keyboards for the guitar solo during "Buddy Holly" which turned into a massive sing along. "Surf Wax America" was the highlight of their set as it was seemingly played faster compared to the recorded version.
"Say It Ain't So" was another massive sing along with Cuomo hoisting up his guitar high for an epic five second guitar solo. Cuomo displayed some more talent by quickly nailing the harmonica intro to "In The Garage." Josh Freese reappeared on the drum kit for the heart wrenching album closer "Only In Dreams." It seemed like it was a dream watching them play the entire Blue Album.
Using a twin jangly guitar attack, Best Coast opened the show with a hand full of sunny tunes that barely eclipsed the three minute mark. "Boyfriend" and "When I'm With You" were the highlights of their set.
Personal Bias: I was in the Weezer fan club as member #870.
Crowd: Weezer has some serious staying power judging by the wide age range of fans in attendance.
Overheard In The Crowd: "Can't wait for tomorrow!" was overheard many times as Weezer performed their Pinkerton album in its entirety the next night.
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