WEEZER with RINGSIDE at the Kool Haus, May 6. Tickets: $38.75. Attendance: sold out. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
In life there are actually three certainties: death, taxes and everyone's unyielding support for Weezer . And why not? Why shouldn't Rivers Cuomo and the gang draw sundry masses to all-ages shows - gawky grade 11s rubbing shoulders with tube-topped club girls, tough guys with one perma-cocked eyebrow and slow-dancing middle-aged couples - like they did when they dropped by the Kool Haus Friday night?
Beyond being considered the CEOs of emo, the group's built an international reputation on the strength of a vast catalogue of well-crafted pop songs with witty, relatable, self-deprecating lyrics. They're well liked for good reason, so, yes, this was the type of show where even the appearance of a techie could cause crowd-wide roars, salivating fans throwing their "flying Ws" (the international Weezer hand sign) in the sky.
Naturally, the entire place went ape-shit when the band's gigantic light-bulb-studded W blazed to life, backlighting Rivers and Co., who started off with Tired Of Sex. For the first half of the song the diminutive Cuomo was inaudible, but after his mic volume was fixed, all levels resonated perfectly with the big, clear pop/rock sound you'd expect from a $40 Kool Haus show.
From In The Garage to Buddy Holly to Island In The Sun to The Sweater Song, they executed hit singles and fan faves, songs from their new album, Make Believe, interspersed throughout, as their enormous, blinding W strobed to the beat.
Generally, Cuomo spoke only when introducing a new song or when he thanked the audience three or four times for coming down. Everything was pretty straightforward and pro, with little crowd participation or divergence from the original tracks. Guys from backstage frequently came out to hand the band freshly tuned guitars.
Point is, when you're Weezer, everyone loves you already; there's nothing to prove. You can just stand there in one place and play your songs, do the predictable encore, act humble, look like you're having a good time, and people will have fun.
In other words, the massive W really worked hard that night.