weezer

FIRST LISTEN: Weezer’s “King of the World”

I’m just gonna say it. I like the track. But you’re right. I’ll probably always love any Weezer track. I’m sorry. I can’t help it. (I mean, I probably could but I won’t.)

Weezer’s “King of the World” comes in advance of their 10th album. It’s, of course, self-titled but is already being referred to as the White Album, in the same vein of Blue, Green, Red, etc. thanks to their dreamy Californian faded album art. The album drops on April 1, just weeks after the band’s unofficial 24th birthday on Feb. 14.

Don’t worry, I’ve already pre-ordered my copy and bought my tickets. Duh.

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First Listen: Weezer’s “Back to the Shack”

Anyone who knows me, knows that Weezer will forever be my one true love. And yes, their material in recent years hasn’t been the most promising and a lot of people have the quartet written off. Even so, I think there’s always been a small part of my heart that always remembers the band I first fell in love with, the one that gave us the Blue Album and Pinkerton. Heck, even the Green Album!

Their upcoming album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End is due this September and to start the party, Weezer harkens back to the good ol’ days in the album’s lead single, Back to the Shack. The lyrics are quite literal and Rivers Cuomo absolutely knows what we’ve all been thinking about Hurley and that other album.

You can hear it in the lyrics, you can hear it in the song’s crunchy riffs – but this is most definitely the closest to the Rivers Cuomo we first met “in the garage” all those years ago, than we’ve seen in recent years.

Sorry guys I didn’t realize that I needed you so much,
I thought I’d get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucks.
I ended up with nobody and I started feeling dumb,
Maybe I should play the lead guitar and Pat should play the drums.

Take me back, back to the shack, back to the Strat with the lightning strap,
Kick in the door, more hardcore, rockin out like it’s ’94.
Let’s turn up the radio, let’s turn off those stupid singing shows,
I know where we need to go: Back to the shack.

Review: Live at Squamish.

If you know me, you know I love Weezer. Which is why I bought a ticket for Live at Squamish the second they announced Weezer would be a main stage headliner. Done and done.

And sure enough, the show was every bit as wonderful as they always are when I see them live. It was my fourth time in four years and for the most part, I’d expected that they’d play a lot of older songs because of the recent Memories Tour they’d been doing. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID! (Except nothing off Pinkerton… sigh.) They again had Josh Freese on the drums, freeing up Pat Wilson to shred. So radical! Anyway, I won’t go too far into details but I’ll highlight a couple of fun things.

I thought I’d end up going by myself since I couldn’t convince any of my friends to buy a ticket but! A friend of a friend saw my post on the Live at Squamish Facebook group, looking for carpools so she messaged me and here we are. Lindsey also brought a camera so all the photos here are to her credit. Cool!

It was also my first time seeing Metric live and holy smokes. Can Emily Haines ever perform! I think I developed a pretty substantial girl crush on her when she was kicking around on stage with those boots.

While the stage was being set up, Karl Koch, the band’s tech/social media guy, was putting around on stage, setting up cameras and what have you. I was, because I was so stoked and not because I’m a jerk, yelling at Karl the whole time. “Hey Karl! You’re awesome, man! Don’t let the man get you down!” Anyway, people around me had no idea who Karl was and I think I freaked out some folks with how much random Weezer knowledge I tossed out there.

Rivers, as per usual, jumped into the crowd with gusto! Except at one point, he entered the crowd from stage right and I couldn’t see where had gone. Then Lindsey started yanking on my arm and telling me to turn around. And this was what I saw. RIVERS! The closest I’ve ever been to shaking the man’s hand. Instead, I’m pretty sure I grabbed his mic and yelled, “HIP MOTHERF*CKING HIP.” Call it a spur of the moment decision. He was singing “Island in the Sun” and I guess that’s what adrenaline does to you.

(Sidenote: “Island in the Sun” had two music videos, one featuring a Mexican wedding and the other that has Rivers, Brian Bell and Pat Wilson playing with animals in a field. While I love both, I think I like the Animal Kingdom version slightly more if only because it’s cute to see grown men playing with baby animals.)

Anyway, the show was wonderful, Karl got me a setlist and I yelled into Rivers’ mic for “Island in the Sun”… I think it’s safe to say that’s a weekend well spent at Live at Squamish. Like that, my live Weezer quota of the year has been fulfilled. (But for real, I’m nervous next year will be the year where I have to fly to see Weezer play live… but ’til then!)

I’ll also leave you off with a clip of Weezer covering Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” I’d written a post about Foster The People back in March so to hear my favourite band covering one of my favourite songs of the summer live in concert? It was pretty damn wonderful. Enjoy!

All photos on this page are by Lindsey Bolivar.

EDIT (Aug. 27, 2011): It’s been requested I post a copy of the setlist so here it is!

2011-08-21 Squamish, B.C. – Live at Squamish: Surf Wax America, We Are All On Drugs, Keep Fishin’, Perfect Situation, Pumped Up Kicks (Foster The People cover), Say It Ain’t So, Dope Nose, No One Else, Undone, Beverly Hills, My Name Is Jonas, Paranoid Android (Radiohead cover), Troublemaker, Hash Pipe, I Want You To, Island in the Sun.
Encore: Buddy Holly, Pork and Beans.