2016 · Culture · Music

Weezer at Brixton Academy, London

As I mentioned in my last post, I was lucky enough to get tickets to go and see one my favourite bands, Weezer, live for the first time. They hardly ever plays gigs outside of the US (and not that many there), and they didn’t tour at all for their last album in 2014. So I was *thrilled* when my boyfriend managed to get tickets to see them, and in Brixton Academy, a venue I really like. I hadn’t been there for about five years so it was great to go back, and even better that it was to see Weezer.

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Suffice to say I was beyond excited. No good thing comes without some small bad thing though – we were supposed to pick our tickets up at the box office but for some reason they weren’t there, which sent me to edge of ‘I actually might cry’. But luckily one of the amazing staff could see that we had paid for them, and gave us a little stamped ticket that let us in. I cannot tell you how relieved and happy I was.

One thing I always find interesting about gigs is seeing the types of people that go to see that particular band. If you go to see a band who clearly fit into a certain genre, e.g. metal, then you know what to expect in terms of their fans. But Weezer are just sort of ‘rock’ and don’t lean too much in any particular direction other than something vaguely preppy and nerdy. Most of their fans looked alarmingly normal, and interesting there was quite an age range. I guess Weezer could appeal to a few different musical tastes, so it makes sense that their fans won’t just be of one type. Anyway, having never been to a gig of theirs before, it was interesting to see who else was there.

I have to say the atmosphere was amazing. As they don’t play that often, and haven’t played in the UK for years, I think everyone there was a bit like me in being super excited to see them. One of the things I love about Weezer is the apparent simplicity in their songs, something that makes them easy to ‘get’, but it also makes them really easy to sing along to, and this came into full force at the live show. It was that very special thing where the whole venue is singing the same song that they all just love so much – they played My Name is Jonas as their second song and that was just sublime. People have been listening to, and loving, that song for 22 years now, and you could feel it in the room. It was just brilliant.

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Weezer are pretty laid back, and they clearly love playing live. They reached a stadium level of joy and energy, and they were enjoying it just as much as the audience (well it seemed that way anyway!). I had a super oh-my-god moment about the fact that it was the band in real life – particularly Rivers Cuomo. Actually him! He is King Nerd but is a fantastic frontman, getting the crowd going and all that. He was dressed head to toe in white, which just made me think of how he used to be known for being a bit of a diva when it came to touring (he allegedly demanded his own tour bus at one point many years ago). It also meant that when they had a disco ball (as in the photo above) he shone like a little beacon. Pretty cool.

It was great to hear the classics, particularly from the Blue Album and Pinkerton, but I also loved hearing some stuff from their new album (White) which came out on 1st April. It was like seeing their progression over 20 years. They have grown and developed, but they are very much still themselves, still recognisably Weezer. Though they’ve had a couple of bad albums in the past, they are one of the most consistent bands I know, and one of the ones I loved for the longest. This is something I love about them – they change, but they also don’t. It also means that they age with you and you don’t get sick of them or grow out of them (which has happened with loads of other bands I used to like). Basically I just love them. And seeing them live was beyond brilliant.

The very best of the live tracks:

  • My Name is Jonas
  • Island in the Sun
  • King of the World
  • Falling for You
  • El Scorcho
  • Buddy Holly (they ended with this and it was wonderful)
  • Back to the Shack
  • Pork and Beans (altogether now – I’m finally dandy with the me inside…)
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