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Gig review: WEEZER, Myer Music Bowl, Wed 16th Jan 2013

Gig review: Weezer, Myer Music Bowl, Wed 16th January 2013

On Wednesday night US power pop maestros Weezer electrified the Myer Music Bowl with their much anticipated “blue album” show.  Like many recent visitors who made their name in that mystical far-off world known as the 1990’s, Weezer were here to play a classic album – in this case their self-titled debut known as the “blue album”-  in its entirety.

Before attacking the “blue album”, the band roared through tracks from each of the long players that followed that fabled debut.  With slightly odd time travel-themed narration from lead singer Rivers Cuomo, the band delivered note perfect versions of tracks like Memories, I want you to, Pork and Beans and early classics like El Scorcho.  Despite a couple of minor issues with the mix including a whomping bass drum on a couple of tracks that reverberated through my chest like I was receiving CPR, the sound was excellent and more expansive and explosive than on record.

A major highlight was their thunderous version of Dope nose from the massively underrated Maladroit album.  The combination of the track’s galloping rhythm and bass player Scott Shriner’s southern fried vocals turned the song into a magnificent and bizarre mix of hard rock and country and western.

The band rarely faltered although Island in the Sun was a little wobbly and in what seemed to be a cheesy and unnecessary attempt to endear the band to the crowd, Rivers unwisely inserted into the track lyrics from Men at Work’s Down Under.

Unlike their 1996 show at the sterile Story Hall, the band connected wonderfully with the crowd at the bowl.  In the warm evening the band formed a rapturous, sweaty symbiosis with the adoring audience particularly when Rivers ditched his psycho nerd schtick and strode triumphantly through the adoring masses.

During intermission we were treated to a slide show featuring shots of the band around the time of recording the “blue album”.  Some of the photos were a little mundane (“this is the carpet on the floor of the garage”) but it was a mostly interesting diversion from the typical gig format.

The second half of the show saw Weezer play “the blue album” in full.  This recent trend of bands playing a classic album in its entirety can make it seem like they’re on the superannuation tour but Weezer delivered each song with such power and salivating joy it was if the record had come out yesterday.  The only disappointment was that Buddy Holly didn’t erupt the way it should, this was partly because the bass was too loud in the mix and swamped the guitars.  Otherwise every track from their classic 1994 debut was performed with a stunning mix of laser beam precision and swaggering confidence.

After decades of anticipation Weezer delivered the magnificent power pop orgy for which we had all hoped.

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