A trampoline, goofy mustache, crowd-pleasing track after track – what better way to celebrate Weezer’s first-ever gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden?
Sure, not everything in Weezer’s catalog is a total winner in the eyes of long-time fans (“Dope Nose” or “Hash Pipe,” anyone?) but, no matter: The strikingly young crowd that filled up the venue on Sept. 24 still knows every word to every hook the band threw their way. And when the group was on –- “Susanne,” “El Scorcho” and the surging “Say It Ain’t So” were particular standouts. It was on.
Weezer has always excelled at rousing, riff-fueled power-pop songs that are as quirky as they are catchy. While the group has undergone a series of changes since it burst onto the scene in 1994 -– moving from the poster boys of geek rock to a slick pop to its current incarnation of “whatever we damn well feel like” -– hearing classics like “Say It Ain’t So” and “Pink Triangle” from “Pinkerton” resonated the same way they did years ago.
Donning white and, later, red jumpsuits, the group skated through its material with an energy and spunk that didn’t let up from start to finish. A mustached Rivers Cuomo (the frontman whose bouts of reclusiveness in the past have been well-documented) bounced about the stage, taking time to note that it was a “dream” to be playing MSG and handed over the reins to his bandmembers to take the lead on a few numbers.
New songs from this year’s “Red Album” like “Troublemaker” and the ridiculously catchy “Pork and Beans” held their weight against more well-known tunes, and Tom DeLonge of opener Angels and Airwaves lent vocals to “Undone (The Sweater Song)” (although he was greeted by a host of boos when he appeared onstage).
Covers of Oasis’ “Morning Glory” and Nirvana’s “Sliver” were so-so, and as an added treat, roughly 30 Weezer fans were brought onstage to jam with the band for “Island in the Sun” and “Beverly Hills.”
Sprinkling in a few more classics like “Only in Dreams” or “The Good Life” would have made the night that much sweeter, but it was still worked for fans old and new to see Weezer performing at its best.
“My Name is Jonas”
“Say it Ain’t So”
“Undone (The Sweater Song”
“Pork and Beans”
“The Greatest Man that Ever Lived”
“Island in the Sun”