Historic event: 06/30/2000
l.a., ca - warped tour 2000
Wow... I totally sound like a stalker....) I really hadn't payed much attention to the other bands that were playing, I just knew I didn't hate any of them. Wow... the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Green Day, the Suicide Machines (who made a nice comment about =w=), and more all had some great live performances. The band before the band before =w= was Papa Roach. I only heard the tail end of that (their most famous song) cause I was waiting at the gate in case my friend showed up after her job stuff, but I made sure to get right up to the front of that stage as their audience left. In spite of that, I still had about three people thick in front of me, and it was constantly growing. While standing there in the midst of thousands of people, NOFX was playing. Ha ha, they were so jealous of the pit on our side of the stage. I couldn't see them at all, but I heard it really well since the speakers both stages are used simultaneously, and I was about ten feet away from them at the most. Every time they mentioned weezer, our crowd would send up a big shout, and they'd half-annoyed, half-jealous, and half-happy (yeah, three halves) make fun of us all. And life was awesome. Then... contact. Heh heh, the few absolutely faithful shouted out "Karl!" as he and then the buffer tattooed roadies began setting up weezer's equipment. Oh my god, I'm going to see weezer. That was an experience in itself. The piece de resistance (or however it's spelled), the rack of guitars. The amp with the winged "w" on it. The head with the modified "Marshall" emblem made to look like "Weezer" (the "M" was turned upside down, the "ll"s were both used as the first two "ee"s, the "r" was turned upside down and used as the "z", and the two "a"s were dissected into the last "e" and the "r"... I want to do that with my amp, but I don't feel worthy of it). The drums (awww, they don't have the winged "w" or the smiley smoking alien thing), and finally the huge case of stuff that has millions of stickers on it, and had the set list and various other papers on top (sorry, I couldn't read them). Also, during the setup, I think Rivers or Mikey waved out of the trailer at the audience (a huge shout went up... twice) bu I couldn't really see it from my position. Mikey even crossed the back of the stage once, probably just getting a high off the crowd. All the guitars are tuned to perfection, and everything is adjusted. Now we wait. And to all those people who love to push and shove, you can just shove something else! (I know, it's part of the whole experience, it's just kinda annoying sometimes.) "Weezer, weezer, weezer, weezer, weezer, weezer, weezer, weezer, weezer..." Then, like nothing, they get up on stage, grab their instruments, make a few adjustments, and among the shouting launch into My Name is Jonas. Oh my god. I'm seeing weezer. I'm HEARING weezer. Live! Hell YEAH! It was... beautiful. There was of course all the crowd surfing, and a small pit, and getting shoved off balance but still somehow staying afoot due to the fact that you can't fall down if there's not enough space to fall down in. I made sure to ask if anyone was okay, if it lookes like they might have been hurt. (If I sound like I'm gay or something, I'm not, I just think it's nice to be nice.) It was all of course easily worth it. It was weezer.... Finally. They also played El Scorcho, No One Else, Undone, In the Garage, The Good Life, Surf Wax America, and Buddy Holly. (Roughly the same order, I can't remember it perfectly, it all blends into a general mish mash off beautiful stuff in my head.) Everyone sang/shouted along with every single song. I couldn't talk normally for the entirety of the next day, but I wasn't sure if that was just me hearing my voice since I figured my ears were probably pretty screwed up too. No, I was talking weird (I asked someone to confirm this). It was awesome to look around at the crowd, and not see any end to it behind me, and then to look in front of me, and see Rivers there in his bowl haircut and glasses strumming methodically on his guitar, and the rest of the weezer gang. (Wow, Pat has some hair!) Almost as suddenly as it had started, it was over... I was hot and sweating, and had part of a water bottle spill onto me, but I shouted as loud as I could, "Encore, encore, encore!" I really didn't think they would, but there was always the chance. Instead, the rest of the crowd took it up as "Weezer, weezer, weezer!" again, but that was awesome too. Looking around, you could see the overjoyed satisfaction on everyone's faces as years of emotions flowed through them with the experience of seeing this incredible timeless band. I saw weezer... ... ... :) !!!!! Afterword: perhaps the best part... well... no, but it rocked almost as equally. The roadies tossed a couple of the unused spare gray picks out to the audience after =w= was over. That was pretty much the show for me. The Long Beach Dub All Stars were on next, but I was too worn out. After waiting for a little bit to see if by any chance any of the weezer people might show themselves, I began to drag myself back to the gates. After playing a few shows with my little band, I knew they were probably also worn out, and putting things away, and talking over the show with friends. I was pretty sure I wouldn't see them. I reached the gates finally, and just sat down on a curb, still inside. I stayed there for while, wondering if I should leave and call my ride, or just stick around til I fell asleep and someone called a cab for me or something. While waiting, most of the LBDAS show was finished, and I somehow got slightly refreshed. I walked back to the two main stages again. I didn't know who Jurrasic 5 was, and maybe they would be cool. Hmm... apparently they are kinda hip-hop/DJ stuff. Not really my thing. Hey... there's that security guard that looked somewhat familiar to me before when I was looking underneath the trailers. Hey... I DO know him, and he's giving me a look of recognition too. So I go over, and talk to him. He used to train the drumline at my high school. So I'm talking to him (mostly about weezer) when out of the corner of my eye, a bland yellowish shirt catches my attention. I casually look over, and... oh my god. OH MY GOD! It's Rivers. He just came out to watch the tail end of the show, I guess. He's standing there with a Diet Pepsi, I think, and is actually walking closer to where I am, watching the stage. Of course, me and my friend are just in awe as he approaches. Without thinking, I call out "Rivers!" He sort of jumps, and looks a bit nervous, and nods. He looks like he's about to back away into the further safety of the VIP area. I just put out my hand and babble something about "awesome job" "my first concert" and other stupid stuff you say when you don't realize it might be a good thing to think first. And he shakes my hand, nods, and backs away again to the safety of a light post. Wow... I just shook hands with Rivers Cuomo! No one else seems to notice he's there for a while. I finally begin thinking, and wish I had gotten an autograph. I bought one of te awesome red =w= shirts, and ask my friend if he could get Rivers to sign it. He's a good guy, but goes by the book more often than not, and basically says he can't. By this time, one other major =w= fan has come over, and tries to get another nearby security guard to get something signed for him. This one is a little more lenient (also seems to be a =w= fan (aren't we all?) ) and gets the shirt to Rivers. Rivers not only signs it, but comes over and gives it to the guy, and begins talking to him (takes a little while, but I guess he does get over his people-shyness). They have a fairly long converasation but with the noise of the band in the background, I couldn't hear any of it despite standing almost right next to him, while keeping a slight polite distance. Of course, I already had my =w= shirt out, and Rivers signed that as well. I really didn't feel like I had anything worth saying to him, so I basically just said "thank you" and some other stuff (again without using my brain), and then he began talking with a final fan. Yeah, there were really only three of us who were into it enough to hang on until the very end for a chance to see any of them. I talked to the first guy that really talked to Rivers afterwards asking what they talked about. Most of it was pretty much stuff you already know from the =rwa= about when everything is being done. Also, the guy told Rivers it really hurt when Matt left, and Rivers's response was that it really hurt him too. That was just... wow... an emotional thing... it was cool. (Hey, that person, if you read this, send me an e-mail (JeffC1216@aol.com or @hotmail.com). After he was finished signing and talking he retreated to the sanctity of the farther reaches of the VIP area again, watching most of the rest of Jurrasic 5's performance. I kept talking to my security guard friend until the whole thing was over. I wish I had gotten a signature for my friend who couldn't come back for the rest of the show, but I made sure to call her and everyone else I knew as soon as I got home (at like 11:30) and brag about my awesome =w= experience. I now have the signature of god on a shirt!
-Jeff Clark (aka "weezer YenSid" for various things on the net (I'm half Japanese (extremely Americanized) but that has nothing to do with the second half of my alias.) )