Weezer are having a busy week. In between appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America and the video game Fortnite, plus filming an NPR Tiny Desk, the band stopped by New York City’s iHeartRadio Theater for a special album release party.
Weezer (Black Album) dropped today (March 1), and on the eve of release, Billboard was on site to witness the L.A.-based band play old favorites and newer cuts alike for the intimate but exuberant crowd, answering Qs from iHeartRadio’s Abby Krizner in between songs.
The audience was mostly made up of ride-or-die Weezer fans sporting merch, who had won contests through the radio station or the band’s fan club. The small room was buzzing with chatter before the band took the stage, with crowd members discussing topics such as limited-edition vinyl and frontman Rivers Cuomo’s current haircut.
Once they were set up on the small stage, Weezer opened with their iconic breakthrough hit “Undone — The Sweater Song,” and it was off to the races. The Q&A took place between songs, with one particularly humorous moment occuring after Cuomo spoke about how he’s been writing songs on piano lately: “This song was not written on a piano,” he yelled before the band launched into raucuous 2001 single “Hash Pipe.”
The band also performed their cover of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” (from the Teal Album), Black Album cut “Living In. L.A.,” and longtime favorites “Beverly Hills,” “Island in the Sun” and “Say it Ain’t So” — as well as their infamous “Africa” rendition, which they will now likely have to play every night for the rest of their days.
The highlight of the night, though, was when the band huddled around the mic and performed Blue Album perennial “Buddy Holly,” barbershop-quartet-style, echoing their instantly viral Fallon performance of the song from earlier in the week. While they weren’t wearing the silly costumes this time, they did look like they were having a hell of a lot of fun. And don’t worry, they closed with the traditional, full-band version of “Buddy Holly” shortly after.
Weezer’s Black Album is out now.