This was the question I’d asked myself since I’d got a ticket for the “older bands are doing this lately” Blue Album / Pinkerton concert. Sure, those two albums are amazing and many a great time I’d had with them. Back then, I wasn’t even aware of the claims of Nirvana or Pixies piracy, I’d just enjoyed those albums for the pure grungy/cheeky fun they were. And when I put them in my ears today, they are still just as fun.
But, over the years, from the heyday of those albums to the mediocrity of the albums that followed, I’d heard that Weezer’s apathy for the rock star life was showing in their live performances. I wasn’t going out of my way to see them, and they fell even lower on my list of live priorities when I’d heard stories of their lackluster energy.
There seemed to be a special kind of desperation in recent Weezer efforts – a hoe down where fans could come up on stage – on what I think was the “Red Album” tour. Not sure how that turned out, but it just seemed like they were reaching. Since the Green Album – which is only a shadow of efforts past – they have not delivered in the way that the old albums have. Sure, there have been individual tracks to enjoy, but for those of us who demanded a complete album, they haven’t been there.
So..with the prospect of Weezer “jukeboxing” their two best albums, I went all in. If there could ever be a chance for them to bring it all back, this was it. Did they deliver?
Pretty much. Sure, they’d sold out long ago and nobody in the band had anything to say to the crowd beyond the songs, but this was still a good show, especially if you’re any kind of Weezer fan. You knew what was coming, but it sounded great and the crowd was committed. No matter what a band is doing, if the crowd is having fun, it makes a difference.
Pinkerton was definitely the better album, much more fun and plucky and when the band seemed to come out of their shell. They played the Blue Album because they had to, they played Pinkerton because it’s fun. The crowd also seemed to come more alive for the 2nd half.
There was this very fun and informative slide show in the intermission between albums. A guy whose name I think was Chad who I think used to manage the band showed a slide show of pictures, show posters, set lists – a pictorial history of the band in its early years. It added to the feeling that this band is a part of rock history. They’ve been at this for 20 years…what other “grunge era” band is still going as strong?
I’ve found what I used to get from Weezer from other bands lately, but it was a fun journey back in time, one that I’m not sure they’ll be able to deliver going forward, but was worth the pit stop.