VENUE, TOWN: Brixton Academy, London
DATE: 5th July 2011
FIVE WORD REVIEW: Cuddly Buddies Triumphant London Return
MAIN REVIEW: Cuddly favourites Weezer peddle a certain kind of slacker garage rock that has been much imitated, yet never exceeded. In the long ol’ years that they have graced this earth, a signature sound has been developed that they, and only they can create. Wryly forlorn yet maddeningly charismatic, their lyrics veer from the woeful to the twee to the downright bizarre, over simplistic jolly riffs that have lodged themselves firmly into the skulls of any self-respecting music fan. Pretenders to their crown are left crushed under the very heft of their back catalogue and the all-eclipsing love of their fans.
Sure, their last album didn’t exactly set the world alight with innovation, but last year’s triumphant performances at Reading and Leeds were reason enough for Brixton Academy to be packed to its dingy rafters at the news of Rivers and chums venturing to our waterlogged shores again. Yes, truly the cavernous hole was packed beyond good reason, but complaints from the unfaithful were few and far between.
In a cruel twist of fate (or due to a Happy Hour down the road?) the support were missed by many of those waiting in the rain to be let inside, but nevermind, the excitement was as palpable as the stench of warm Tuborg in the air.
As Weezer’s last record received a relatively lukewarm response, fans would have been forgiven for concerns that the old standards wouldn’t get a look-in, but oh! How wrong they would have been. Looking eerily spritely, an exuberant Rivers Cuomo greeted the crowd and launched into a energetic set that spanned the entirety of their back catalogue, shunning newer material for a raft of old favourites from ‘Pinkerton’ and ‘The Green Album.’ Supposedly getting on a bit these days, the band didn’t give any hint of this, giving a sturdy and tight set with enough flourishes of humour that even the most tried-and-true songs were given new life; ‘El Scorcho,’ for example was brought out relatively early on, prompting ass-shaking far and wide. Drinks went flying, but this was no time to cry over spilt gin.
The set could have been regarded as somewhat of a Greatest Hits, most singles reared their shiny heads, and the now-traditional rendition of Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ was greeted with as much gusto as ‘Pork and Beans’ (Whether this was with a hint of smirking irony on anyone’s part, we will never know. Brixton was also treated to an oddly faithful cover of ‘Paranoid Android,’ which perplexed and heartened in equal measure. The pace didn’t let up at all, demonstrating a comfortable band who can still very much cut the proverbial mustard live.
Closing on a predictable yet greatly appreciated encore of ‘Hash Pipe’ and ‘Buddy Holly,’ Weezer slunk back into the gloom, hopefully slapping eachother firmly on the skinny backs at a job well done. More soon, please.