Pixies / Weezer Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto ON - July 9, 2005

Pixies / Weezer Molson  Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto ON - July 9, 2005
What promised to be an amazing double-bill for alt-pop fans lived up to the hype but in a rather lopsided way. In town to promote the most mediocre record of their career, Weezer had a lot to prove and for the most part managed to do so. Peppering their set with hits like "Say it Ain't So," "Undone (The Sweater Song)" and "El Scorcho," the band sounded excellent. It's too bad that shy leader Rivers Cuomo appears more and more disengaged from his band with every visit. There was little question who the throngs of teens and small kids in Weezer shirts accompanied by their parents were there to see, as songs like "Buddy Holly" and "We Are All on Drugs" and the slightest obligatory banter were greeted with intense adulation. With the exception of drummer Pat Wilson and bassist Scott Shriner, however, there was no reciprocal energy on stage, as Cuomo and guitarist Brian Bell rendered songs listlessly (including Cuomo's curious relinquishing of lead vocals to Bell on the band's "Getchoo"). The Pixies may have appeared as motionless but they possessed enough charisma in their "all killer, no filler" set to fill the amphitheatre. Frank Black roared through songs from every era of the band's history, digging deep into "Ed is Dead," "Bone Machine," "Tame" and "Subbacultcha," among others. Kim Deal's smile lit up the stage, whether demurely knocking off effortless versions of "In Heaven" and "Gigantic" or spitting out cigarettes just in time to deliver key back-up vocals on both versions of "Wave of Mutilation." Joey Santiago's guitar added wondrous, bitter textures to every song, most notably on "This Monkey's Gone to Heaven" and the shtick-y exchange with drummer David Lovering that accompanies "Vamos." They may have bantered even less than Weezer but the Pixies seemed to beam on stage and the audience couldn't help but beam right back.