Historic event: 06/16/2000
Tons of geek-band followers were on hand Friday night at "The Yucatan" club in downtown Santa Barbara to witness the return of the beloved Weezer. As the restless fans waited out an hour-long delay, the opening band "Nerf Herder" set up and began just as the last fans were making their way inside. True to form, Nerf Herder entertained the impatient crowd with comedic high school songs, ranging from the silly to the sublime. After a surprisingly long set, the long awaited main attraction made its way to the stage. A friend and I lucked out by snagging some spots by the bar...a perfect view about 10 feet away from the boys and free from overactive high schoolers.
With a crowdful of sweaty teenagers eagerly looking on, Weezer opened the set with "My Name is Jonas". The boys were back indeed. Rivers, with collared shirt buttoned to the neck, let pure energy fly from his guitar as if he was playing these songs for the very first time. The audience got all that they expected and more. At one point there was a break in between songs. One audience member yelled "Hey! Play 'Why Bother'!" Rivers looked out into the crowd and responded "'Why Bother'? Okay." Turning around to pass the new info along to the rest of the band, they cranked out the tune in flawless fashion. I was surprised to see a new face among the ole' regulars of Weezer. Bass player Mikey received no introduction, but proved his worth as he rocked out as if he'd been there from the beginning. Guitarist Brian, while switching guitars every song, gave the classic head bobs and swaying dance moves while backing Rivers. Rivers, quiet in between songs, hit the crowd with powerful vocals mixed in with ripping guitar solos obviously honed to perfection.
My friend and I agreed, this was more than we expected. We'd heard Weezer was a bit disappointing live. All fears were put to rest. Don't be mislead, there's no witty interactions or comedy act here, Weezer lets their music do the talking. There was no doubt that every person in the joint was a die-hard fan. They proved this by singing along at the top of their lungs, while swaying in time with the high school nerd anthems.
The only distractions that took my eye off the stage were the security guards yelling at memebers of Nerf Herder, telling them that they weren't allowed to stand on the side of the stage. Apparently they had no idea who was who. Three new songs were offered up to a hungry crowd that night. Personally I wasn't hooked. Disappointed, I remember thinking to myself "Gosh, he gave all he had. He doesn't have anymore hit songs in him." While the new licks were relatively true to Weezerform, they were simple and straightforward. Bottom line: nothing special. Gone were the unique and pop'ish guitar riffs by Rivers. Gone were the instantly catchy lyrics. However, have no fear, I'm sure by recording time (September) we'll be presented with an album that will quench the three-year-long thirst we've all had. Until then... -Crawdaddy