Friday, Sept. 26, 2008

When Did Weezer Become an Interesting Live Band?

By Evan Rytlewski
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From the New York Times' colorful review of Weezer's New York concert Wednesday night:

Mr. Cuomo both led the show and observed it from different angles. He let all his band members take multiple turns singing. He played drums on a decent cover of Oasis’s “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” Ultimately he supervised an invasion of his own show, leading a ragtag amateur troupe of 30 or so musicians for an encore ...

Another kind of creative imbalance came out in Mr. Cuomo’s stage behavior. He spoke to the crowd in Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Portuguese; this was all slightly hostile obfuscation. But when he hit the sweet riff spots of “Hash Pipe” or soloed on “Susanne,” he dropped the circumspection: he was bobbing, shaking, compulsively lost in his work. (On “Troublemaker,” while the bassist Scott Shriner spelled him for a verse, he bounced on a small onstage trampoline.)
Dare I say it, but that concert actually sounds... fun. From my experiences and from virtually every account I've heard, Weezer is a pretty lackluster live band. When I last saw them in Madison behind the release of their green self-titled album, they were sluggish and cold, running through rote versions of their songs without addressing the audience. Say what you will about Weezer's divisive recent output, but the happy, boyish performance that the NY Times just described is the show I've always wanted to see from Weezer. Despite their studio fumblings, has the group somehow become a great live band?
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