Live: Weezer, Austin

Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo keeps the Austin audience enraptured (Photo by Lily Angelle)

Editor’s Note: With no classes to attend this summer, our Austin correspondent Lily Angelle is finding more time to attend concerts – like the second night of Weezer’s two-night stand in Austin.

Many hardcore Weezer fans, myself included, gathered outside Stubbs yesterday as early as seven hours before the gates opened. With a cooler filled with water, I braved the 100 degree heat for a chance to secure a front-row spot to see my favorite band of all time, and I must say their performance was well worth the wait.

Some Weezer fans may disagree, but it seems that over the last few years Weezer’s music has become steadily less relatable and genuine. Diehard Weezer fans cling to their first several albums as evidence of their nerdy authenticity and blissful, relatable angst. That’s why, when Weezer launched their Memories Tour  and announced they’d play The Blue Album and Pinkerton, their first two albums, over the span of two nights and in their entirety, old-school Weezer fans went apeshit. Unable to afford to go to both shows, I was forced to choose. The choice was easy- Pinkerton, without a doubt.

After The Knux’s short opening set, Weezer humbly made their way onstage, opening with “Memories,” off 2010’s Hurley. Before launching into Pinkerton, the band did a little “time machine” set, starting from recent songs and working their way back to their very early stuff, circa 1996/1997. Rivers Cuomo knew how to pump up the crowd, stepping offstage into the audience, and even jumping from the speakers onto the roof of Stubbs.

The opening time machine set featured a song that Rivers said had never been performed live, “Longtime Sunshine,” which is on his album Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. They also performed crowd-pleasers such as “Suzanne,” “Jamie,” and “Only In Dreams.”

After the trip down memory lane, Weezer left the stage to regroup before performing Pinkerton. During the intermission the band’s longtime friend and video/photo/website guy Karl Koch presented a slideshow presentation of old pictures, posters and set lists of Weezer, which was pretty cool.

Finally after a wardrobe change, Weezer came back to perform the entire Pinkerton album, with few breaks in between songs for talking or pumping up the crowd. Pat Wilson rightfully returned to playing the drum set, although he played guitar throughout the entire time machine set. The songs transitioned smoothly, and I could see Rivers’ emotional attachment to the music.

The show closed on a quiet note, with Rivers performing “Butterfly” on an acoustic, backed by Karl Koch on the drum set. As the crowd roared with approval, Rivers flashed the trademark Weezer hand signal, and the crowd was quick to return the gesture. Even though the competition was fierce when it came to snagging a setlist, we were able to get the attention of someone on stage to hand us an unripped setlist, and then we high-tailed it out of there before someone could rip it from our hands.

Weezer’s Memories Tour is most likely one of the last times fans will get a chance to hear a good amount of their early stuff, so make sure that you check it out!

Tuesday night’s setlist:

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