Weezer Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto ON, July 6
Published Jul 07, 2016Weezer still know how to have fun. That was made very apparent last night (July 6) at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, where Rivers and Co. threw a massive beach party complete with streamers, beach balls and all sorts of beachy backdrops on screen behind them — from classic beachfronts to headbanging troll dolls. Moreover, the band were really enjoying themselves on stage, bouncing around, hamming up guitar solos and winking at the crowd.
The 90-minute set travelled all over Weezer's discography, first giving due to their most recent self-titled album. The show opened with White Album opener "California Kids," a surf-tinged ode to good-natured beach dwellers. The energy and excitement they put into performing these new tracks was really fantastic, and many of them were show highlights. Take for example the potentially cringe-worthy "Thank God For Girls," a song that is much better in practice than in theory. With Brian Bell and Scott Shriner doubling on their own instruments and keys, the song expounded the many amazing attributes women have (in this case, being stronger, smarter and cooler than Rivers Cuomo).
The backdrop for the song was particularly great, with images of stained glass windows contrasted with clips of beach-going ladies of the '50s and '60s. During the final chorus, as the song built and built, the backdrop changed to pictures of famous women, from Joan of Mad Men to Ellen to Oprah, each picture getting a bigger and bigger cheer. On the last note, two massive Beyoncés appeared onscreen as Cuomo fell to his knees and raised a rock fist.
The second half of Weezer's set basically played like a greatest hits, though the performance of "Beverly Hills" might have been the only sour point of the night due to some weird sound issues. This was followed with a medley of classic tracks from "Dope Nose" to "The Good Life" (the first Pinkerton track of the night) and ended on the summer-appropriate "Surf Wax America."
This led into the biggest sing-alongs of the night, with crowd favourites "Undone" and newer hit "King of the World," with Rivers clad in cape and crown, engaging the crowd. Keeping with the summer theme, the band came together, literally, put on some leis and played a stripped-down version of "Island in the Sun," a nice contrast to the silly rock'n'roll of the rest of the show. This was followed by the required performance of "Say it Ain't So" as the final song of the main set.
The encore started with a lone Rivers on keys playing through a few lines of hometown hero Drake's "Know Yourself," admittedly all he knew of the song, as well as a quick check in on Twitter (Cuomo's eyeliner was getting particular attention). This led to the second Pinkerton track of the night, "El Scorcho," before the band finished the night with a killer rendition of "Buddy Holly"
When you have been around as long as Weezer have, your career naturally ebbs and flows. Yes, there's been a lot of sub-par Weezer in the last decade, but with the last two albums, as well as the performance on this tour, Rivers and co. seem to have finally got their groove back, and they couldn't be more stoked about it.