Sheezer Lee's Palace, Toronto ON, August 7

Sheezer Lee's Palace, Toronto ON, August 7
Photo: Amy Buck
For the last six years, Toronto-based all-female cover band Sheezer have embodied the best things about Weezer — namely The Blue Album and Pinkerton, although they also managed to work the fun-loving attitude of a band who have made music videos with the Muppets and put a dude from Lost on an album cover into every set (and never more so than at Sheezer's storied costumes-not-optional-for-the-band Halloween shows). Last night (August 8), Sheezer played their final show together, delivering a familiar but fun finale to this chapter of Robin Hatch, Alysha Haugen, Laura Barrett and Dana Snell's musical careers.
As was to be expected from a set that only included beloved mid-'90s geek rock classics, it was an impassioned sing-along crowd pleaser from the opening lines of "No One Else" right through to the triumphant closing notes of "The Good Life." Blue Album-era B-sides like "Jamie" and "Susanne" didn't get quite the same response as anthems like "Buddy Holly," "Say It Ain't So" or "El Scorcho," but were welcome additions to the setlist for the more-than-casual fans in attendance.
Snell impressed from the get-go with her ability to take lead vocals from behind her drumkit, while Barrett's finest moments came during a thundering "Holiday" (dedicated to her mother in attendance) and "In the Garage" (after which she half-jokingly remarked "No one will ever hear me sing that song"). Hatch gave the fiercest, most finessed vocal performances, shining particularly on "Across the Sea," while Haugen let her unrelenting, intricate guitar playing do the talking all night.
Following a 20-song set, the foursome came out for an encore that saw them "colour outside the lines" with Green Album cut "Hash Pipe" and a rousing rendition of "Only in Dreams." For their last moments on stage as a band, Sheezer hugged and then stood centre stage and sang an emotional a cappella version of Pinkerton's "Butterfly" — an already sweet song made especially poignant with the closing chant of "I ain't never coming back / I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Entertaining as ever and aware of when to quit while they're ahead (Rivers Cuomo, take note), Sheezer admirably paid homage to the source material while leaving the crowd at Lee's with lasting — and entirely original — memories.