Halfway into Weezer‘s set on Tuesday night, frontman Rivers Cuomo was sprawled out onstage, basking in the overwhelming sense of adoration in the room. It was night two of Weezer’s Memories Tour stop in San Francisco, at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, and the band started with a 10-song set followed by their 1996 sophomore effort Pinkerton in its entirety (night one saw Weezer play its entire Blue album).
As loose and energetic as the previous night, Weezer’s second engagement was a nod to die-hard Weezer fans. The set included some rarities like 1995’s “You Gave Your Love to Me Softly” and “Susanne.” Band members shared vocal duties throughout the set — guitarist Brian Bell took over on “Pork and Beans” and bassist Scott Shriner on “Dope Nose.” And as he did the night before, drummer Pat Wilson donned a guitar during the first part of the set, with drummer Josh Freese taking over percussion duties.
The fans also took part in the action. Rivers invited a trio of fans decked out in homemade Weezer Ts onstage for the rest of the audience to see. At another point, Rivers spotted a fan waving a homemade flying W flag and invited him onstage. They stretched it out for all to see, and Rivers then displayed it on the drum riser.
When he wasn’t inviting fans onstage, Rivers Cuomo was running through the audience, high-fiving fans and climbing on theater seats. No one was left untouched — not even the venue staff. During “Hash Pipe,” Cuomo yanked a beanie off a petite female staffer, plopped it on his head for a bit, then stretched it out onto a beefy security guard’s dome.
Intermission followed and Weezer’s unofficial fifth member, Karl Koch, helmed a slide show (just like on the first night), showing off gems from Weezer’s early days. The crowd swooned at the sight of one of Weezer’s first fliers from 1992, a photo of the band with Spike Jonze during the Pinkerton recordings, and also shared a collective laugh at a Rolling Stone magazine clipping that declared Pinkerton the second-worst album of 1996 (just behind Bush’s Razorblade Suitcase).
When it was time for the Pinkerton set, the album’s cover art hung in the background, Pat returned to his drum kit and Rivers returned sans glasses (and not looking much different than he did during his Pinkerton days). The band ripped through the album’s 10 songs, garnering even more sing-alongs than the previous night. Those in attendance were definitely a dedicated bunch.
The feeling was mutual. On “El Scorcho,” Brian gestured to the crowd during the lyrics “I’m a lot like you,” summing up the sentiment of the night.
As the rest of the band left the stage, Rivers closed out the show with his acoustic guitar on “Butterfly” (and Karl took a stab at drumming). As the song concluded, Rivers took one simple bow and exited the stage — capping off a splendid two-night engagement of the Memories Tour.
Last night I saw Weezer on their “Memories Tour”. Don’t you hate it when you go to a concert and the band only plays their new album, which you haven’t really gotten into yet?
Not here. This show was for their old fans. No filler. Lots of energy. Nothing for sale. It was a joy to rock out to the music I grew up with. It brought back a ton of memories, a very emotional experience. Pinkerton was released 15 years ago, and somehow I still knew most of the words.
Weezer put on a show that was true to their heart. The audience was packed with true Weezer die hards. And we loved it.
When I was at my dad’s house last month, contemplating what to do with all the CDs I have stored in his closet, one gem I discovered was an autographed copy of Pinkerton. I’m really glad I didn’t get rid of that. (Although I did get rid of an XL Weezer t-shirt i bought at a show 9 years back. Doh!).