S omeone should inform the international scientific body responsible for investigating otherworldy phenomena that Yank nerd rockers Weezer are either the eighth wonder of the world or chillingly powerful hypnotists.
If the latter is true, forget about lost arks -- an army fronted by the foursome would be invincible because its enemies would collapse into writhing heaps.
Weezer's mysterious sway over their devoted flock was evident outside the Phoenix. Prior to showtime, some 50 people anxiously huddled near the entrance, begging incoming patrons for extra tickets.
Their howls of despair were unsettling, but nothing compared to the scene unfolding inside. Fans literally teared up and wailed at the first glimpse of singer/guitarist Rivers Coumo, who shrugged onstage with the enthusiasm of someone about to face an algebra final.
Even through the fog of his glasses, Coumo must have been knocked out by the love in the room, especially considering the fact that Weezer hasn't put an album out in ages and was, for all intents and purposes, presumed dead.
Maybe it's another instance of that weird musical marvel whereby bands become legendary in absentia -- among those who never saw them the first time.
Whatever, the crowd was utterly ecstatic. They were surfing like mad, singing along at top volume, greeting a mid-set spate of new songs with stout approval and generally going ape-shit.
More power to Weezer, who, despite their knowing "ain't being a teen a drag?" routine, are essentially a poor man's Sloan without the engaging live banter or spine-tingling harmonies.
Guitarist Brian Bell is little more than decoration, though props to new bassist Mikey Welsh, whose tats add a ripple of danger to a band you'd comfortably bring home to Mom. Welsh's perennial pogoing countered Coumo's spot-on impression of an elm.
By the end of a listless encore, it was clear that Weezer are considerably less dazzling than the people they attract.
WEEZER, at the Phoenix, August 31. Tickets: $20. Attendance: 1,000 (sold out). Rating: NNN