Weezer rocks out in Philly like it’s ’94, playing an exclusive show for their local fans.
Weezer is the Southern California quartet responsible for some of the best alt/power pop songs from the 90’s. It’s been 20 years since they graced the stage at the historic Trocadero in Philly, but there are other reasons this show was going to be special. Weezer is touring in support of their album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, released on October 7. They picked a few cities on their tour to play their latest release in its entirety, and Philly is where it debuted.
The new album sounds like a 45-minute confessional of sorts. Frontman, Rivers Cuomo, really bares his soul on this one. The first few songs on this album are directed to the fans, offering an explanation and an apology, for the work they have put out over the last few years. Also included are a few songs written about Cuomo’s troubled relationship with his father, and of course, about relationships with girls.
They played a stunning nine-song acoustic set, which quickly became a nine-song sing-along with the crowd. The acoustic set included fan favorites, “El Scorcho,” “Island In The Sun,” “The Good Life,” and “Buddy Holly.” Their harmonizing was spot on throughout.
The second half of the show, they played their new album front to back. One of the highlights were, “Back To The Shack,” which was very reminiscent of their trademark sound. It could have easily come off one of their 90s albums. The song, “I’ve had It Up To Here,” highlighted the great falsetto of Cuomo, whose voice is seemingly unchanged over the years. “The British Are Coming” and “Cleopatra” were well received. Both have a catchy chorus during which the crowd happily joined it.
During “Foolish Father,” a choir consisting of fans (complete with robes marked with the trademark W) joined the band onstage for a great rendition that included lots of confetti. One of the catchiest songs on the new album is the great duet, “Go Away,” sung by Cuomo and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, but that part would be sung by a local fan, Frances Quinlan, who joined Cuomo onstage. To the surprise and delight of the audience, this girl absolutely nailed it. The performance was met with thunderous applause.
They ended the show with “The Futurescope Trilogy,” a three-song, eight-minute, over-the-top instrumental piece that had just about everything. There were soaring guitars, piano, and a chanting chorus. It felt like a theatrical production, and the performance was so intense and bombastic, the crowd was almost holding their breath, waiting for lasers and pyrotechnics to appear.
The guitar work between Cuomo, Brian Bell (guitar), and Scott Shriner (bass) was impressive, as was drummer Patrick Wilson’s heavy pounding throughout. Shriner’s performance was especially noteworthy as he played bass with a cast on his arm. The audience collectively thought it was a great way to end the show, but the performance wasn’t over yet. After chanting the band’s name repeatedly, the crowd got them back for one more song and they finished off the night with “Surf Wax America” off their ’94 debut album, The Blue Album.