Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Weezer calmly rocks First Ave.

A review of the show I wanted to be at last night but couldn't, for the life of me, win tickets to as they were sold out in mere minutes. I have to add that the set list sounds amazing, too. Thanks to the Star-Trib for the story...

Even with rock's weirdest anti-star of the moment as its frontman, Weezer wowed a sell-out crowd of rabid fans with a surprisingly normal, plain-jane set Tuesday at First Avenue.

The hard-rocking geek-pop band has built up a lot of mystique (and manufactured hype) around the eccentricities of its pipsqueak singer-songwriter, Rivers Cuomo. His affinity for meditation, solace and celibacy -- chronicled in a recent biography ("Rivers Edge") and Rolling Stone's current cover story -- is part of why the Los Angeles group has outlived the novelty status it obtained with the early '90s hits "Buddy Holly" and "Undone (The Sweater Song)," both of which were played Tuesday with less-than-novel blahness.

With that kind of back story, it was actually a little disappointing how straightlaced and flat Cuomo came across in the 75-minute performance. The show was part of a brief club tour to promote Weezer's first album in four years, "Make Believe," due in stores next week.

Cuomo, 34, did let his fragile persona show a bit, namely in two other new songs, "Peace" and "Haunt You Every Day," either of which could make for an entire episode of "Dr. Phil."

"I don't feel no joy/ I don't feel no pain," he sang in the latter song, a power ballad that was one of several numbers featuring guitarist Brian Bell on piano (while a roadie filled in on guitar). Hearing "Haunt You Every Day" right after the quartet's lighthearted new single, "Beverly Hills," perfectly demonstrated the seesaw mystique of Weezer nowadays.

For a finale, the band played one of Cuomo's most personal (and best) older tunes, "The Good Life," about his tightrope-walk between public and private life. After telling fans that the band would be back on tour later this year, the singer ominously paused and added, "I think." He's obviously a guy who likes to keep fans guessing.

SET LIST
Tired of Sex
In the Garage
Hash Pipe
No One Else
This Is Such a Pity
Buddy Holly
Photograph
Getchoo
Say It Ain't So
We Are All on Drugs
Island in the Sun
My Name Is Jonas
Peace
Beverly Hills
Haunt You Every Day
Encore:
Undone (The Sweater Song)
The Good Life

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