Weezer. The band that proved to the world that even nerds can become rock stars, brought their A-game to the Shoreline Amphitheater last night to a packed crowd of 30-40-year-olds that had braved the arduous weekday commute down South for a chance to witness the epic rock show.
First on the bill were co-headliners, The Pixies, a band that reached legendary status for the role they played in inspiring Kurt Cobain to develop Nirvana’s signature sound, one that would later launch a whole movement called Grunge. Led by singer Black Francis, the quartet commanded the stage like the seasoned veterans that they are and performed a series of songs from a setlist that they’ve said comes together organically the moment they come on stage.
That feeling of spontaneity and unexpectedness was felt and brought an air of excitement to an already riveting evening. The music itself surely played a part in it, which still sounds as modern and relevant today as when it first came out in the mid-80s. It’s no wonder why so many bands name these guys as a main source of inspiration.
— ⚡️⚡️ MUSICinSF ⚡️⚡️ (@sfmusicscene) August 8, 2018
After an hour-long set, Weezer emerged from behind the black curtains of the two-peak-white-tented venue, and from the moment they took the stage you quickly understood why they were the headliners. With 14 million albums under their belts, their success is still felt as emphatically today as when they got together almost 20 years ago.
They kicked things off strongly with the mega-hit “Buddy Holly,” complete with a Happy Days-inspired backdrop and stage set. With each power chord the thought of the Fonz or Richie Cunningham making a surprise appearance was unavoidable, yet never materialized.
Major hits like “Beverly Hills,” “Pork and Beans” and “Hash Pipe” quickly followed suit. Unlike many bands that force their newer material down the throats of unwilling fans, Weezer is not ashamed to give them exactly what they came for. The encores for the night consisted of “Surf Wax America,” and “Say It Ain’t So”, a powerful song that lead singer Rivers Cuomo wrote about the deteriorating marriage of his parents while an adolescent.
Weezer’s success story is one of overcoming odds. These nerdy kids that dreamed of one day becoming rock stars eventually did, in a big way and for years to come. It has to serve as inspiration for many, even if these days geeks seem to be plotting world domination with computers and dreaming of startups and dotcoms rather than electric guitars and groupies.
Photos by Louis Raphael