On Monday night, against the backdrop of a 7ft illuminated ‘W’, a cape, sceptre and crown clad River Cuomo approached the mic to perform ‘King of the World’. All I could think was “Jesus, these guys are lame.” It has been, and evidently still is, this all-embracing nerdiness that makes Weezer so endearing and loveable. The crowd, albeit mainly white, male, middle-aged and slightly obnoxious, went crazy for it.
Weezer are an inherently funny band, ready to take the piss out of themselves at any moment. One only has to listen to ‘Troublemaker’ from The Red Album to really get a taste of their humour. Their sell-out show at the O2 was steeped in this humour. A little too much for my liking. This emphasis on comedy meant songs like ‘Pork and Beans’ were left distinctly lacklustre.
Promoting their new album Pacific Daydream and new single ‘Feels Like Summer’ meant the set list was filled with new stuff. Weezer for me will always be about the Blue, Green and Red album (and a little bit of Pinkerton). Their more recent music, especially the new 2017 stuff, is in contrast uninventive.
However, this wasn’t the issue. Over the course of the evening Weezer covered both ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast and ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’. Drawing attention to their own white, dorkiness was quite cute but musically it just wasn’t great. The Posner cover, on the other hand, was plain awful. Weezer crossed the line and I watched Cuomo turn into some weird Comedy Musician before my eyes.’.
‘El Scorcho’, ‘Island in the Sun’, ‘Buddy Holly’ and ‘Say It Ain’t So’ all played to a high level, but my beloved Weezer, a relic of the 90’s, monarchy to the high school nerd. You’ve changed, man.
Photo Credit: Emily Shur / rollingstone.com