- 10 May 19
Today is the 25th anniversary of Weezer's eponymous debut studio album - popularly known as the Blue Album. To mark the occasion, we're revisiting Paul Nolan's live review of Weezer at The Point in Dublin, originally published in Hot Press in 2005.
For such a legendarily shy character, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo sure has a commanding presence. Throughout tonight’s show, he prowls the stage, encouraging the crowd to sing along, swaps places with drummer Patrick Wilson on ‘Photograph’ and indulges in his share of good-natured banter.
Combined with Weezer’s formidable back catalogue – a winning mix of bouncy, anthemic rock and the odd heartbroken lament – Cuomo’s new-found extroversion makes for a hugely enjoyable show.
Arriving onstage to the strains of ‘Moon River’ (a consummately oddball choice for the kings of outsider chic), the band take a while to get going, but when they do they’re unstoppable.
The quartet really achieve lift-off with a thumping take on ‘Fall Together’ (sung by bassist Scott Shriner), after which the stunning trio of ‘We Are All On Drugs’, ‘Beverly Hills’ and ‘Buddy Holly’ ratchet up the atmosphere another notch.
A real standout, though, is ‘Say It Ain’t So’. Built on the classic quiet-loud-quiet formula, the tune – much like Weezer themselves – plays firmly by the alt.rock rulebook.
But the lyrics, with their evocation of chronic melancholy and dazed ‘n’ confused slacker inertia (“Dear Daddy/I write you in spite of years of silence/Things are good or so I hear/You cleaned up and found Jesus”) read like an extract from a Bret Easton Ellis short story.
They prove that Cuomo is a good deal sharper than your average arena-rawk knucklehead.
From there, the diminutive singer goes on to perform a rather beguiling solo acoustic version of ‘Islands In The Sun’ for the encore. In a genuinely novel twist, he does so from the mixing desk at the back of the venue.
Duties done, he races towards one of the side doors to return back to the stage.
When he does, he’s greeted by a guest guitarist from the audience (all the rage these days), who acquits himself superbly on an excellent rendition of ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)’.
After uproarious versions of ‘Hash Pipe’ and ‘Surf Wax America’, the band depart to deafening cheers (interestingly, the putatively dictatorial Cuomo even deigns to offer Shriner a well-earned pat on the back).
Overall, it was the kind of tight, impressive performance that only really comes from a well-drilled outfit who’ve decisively hit their touring stride.
What about that Rivers Cuomo, eh? To (mis)quote Mathew 5:5, the geek shall inherit the earth.