View Full Version : Weezer: Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Mick Pacholli
22nd January 2013, 02:24 AM
January 16 2013 @ Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Denham Sadler, Tone Deaf
Thursday 17 January 2013
It’s been 16 long years since Weezer have visited Australia. In that time, the self-proclaimed nerd rock group has released eight albums, which were showcased tonight in the first, ‘Greatest Hits’ portion of the night. For a band whose gap between new and older material is so wide, it proved the perfect format. Gone are the gimmicks and ridiculous covers that have perverted the Weezer live show of recent years, replaced with a string of hits and their iconic Blue Album debut in full, and it was everything a live show should be. Ball Park Music’s bright, upbeat pop numbers provided the perfect late evening soundtrack to the masses slowly filling the Myer Music Bowl’s expansive hill. Playing a short set of undeniably infectious tracks, such as ‘Surrender’ and ‘It’s Nice To Be Alive’, the Brisbane five-piece ensured the night began in a joyous mood, one that continued throughout. While not nearly as long as Weezer, it’s still been some time since local expats Cloud Control have graced Australian shores, which singer Alister Wright acknowledged with his intro: “we’re Cloud Control and we’ve been away for a while”. On their return, the band brought with them a trio of new, and very promising tracks, to be appearing on their sophomore album - to be released at some point this year - along with old favourites ‘Gold Canary’ and ‘This Is What I Said’. During preparations for the main act, Rivers Cuomo seemed as relaxed as usual, spotted at the side of stage kicking around a soccer ball during the soundcheck, while also completing some choice stretches and push-ups in preparation. Cuomo succinctly summed up the Australian hiatus with “Melbourne we’re finally here, let’s do this”, before entering a ‘time-machine’ (accompanied by some questionable Cuomo-provided sound effects) that saw the four-piece begin with the latest releases and work all the way back to 1996’s Pinkerton. Hurley’s ‘Memories’ aptly opened the night, with Weezer doing their very best to take the adoring Melbourne crowd back to the band’s golden age. It didn’t take long for the enthusiastic and cheerful frontman to enter the crowd, traversing an impressive distance throughout the packed crowd during ‘Troublemaker’. All the pre-show stretching proved to be well worth it, with the sprightly 42-year-old quickly reaching the barrier of the hill, before gleefully announcing “I’m just hanging out with 8,000 of my people.” ‘Perfect Situation’ featured the first of many big sing-alongs of the night, while ‘Dope Nose’ saw bassist Scott Shriner take lead vocal duties, further illustrating the importance of all four members of the band. ‘Island In The Sun’ proved to be a euphoric live moment, with much of the adoring crowd singing in unison, and come the point the time machine stopped at fan-favourite ‘El Scorcho’, no-one was left with any doubt that Weezer ‘still had it’. Culminating in all four members thrashing out on Patrick Wilson’s drum kit, the band then departed for a short intermission, and in a testament to the caliber of a Weezer live show, many in the crowd would probably be somewhat content if that was it. The break involved a unique and fascinating slideshow narrated by Weezer webmaster, historian, and unofficial fifth band member, Karl Koch. Featuring rare images of the band in their pre-Blue Album days, giving an entertaining insight into what was about to be witnessed in full. Highlights included a young Cuomo trying his hand at karate, some questionable fashion choices, and an early, scathing review that labeled the band ‘Nirvana wannabes’. The slideshow segued wonderfully into a heavier version of opener, ‘My Name Is Jonas’. It takes a truly brilliant album to be played in full at a massive live show, particularly nearly 20 years after its release, but The Blue Album stillnaturally suits a live setting, ebbing and flowing wonderfully, and featuring just enough quiet and loud moments. ‘Surf Wax America’ gained arguably the biggest sing-along of the night, while ‘Buddy Holly’ saw Cuomo and Brian Bell shredding on their respective guitars as if they’d never aged - while ‘Say It Ain’t So’ was simply a revelatory moment. Never taking themselves too seriously, Weezer simply enjoy performing. With ‘In The Garage’ perhaps best summing up the band’s long-spanning career. “I’ve got an electric guitar / I play my stupid songs / I write these stupid words / And I love every one.” Album closer ‘Only In Dreams’ saw an extended outro bring the night to a close, with both the band and audience seemingly not wanting it to end. With a heavy drone from Shriner’s bass, the quartet quickly bowed and acknowledged the smiling masses before departing, leaving most in rapture of what they had witnessed. It was a band playing an album that had defined the teenage years of a large portion of the crowd, playing loyally and passionately to an audience that probably thought they’d never get a chance to witness it - and both parties loved every second of it.

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