Weezer Impresses Geezer

UPDATED 10/30/09, 7:19 am:
At the end of this post I’ve added YouTube video of Weezer’s performance last night on the Late Show with David Letterman.


I plead guilty to having for the most part ignored new music since the late ’80s. As a dad of three boys ranging in age from 12 to 18, that hasn’t been easy to do.

 

One of the few artists to have (barely) penetrated my musical consciousness since the late ’80s is the band Weezer.

Weezer live at the P.C. Richards & Sons Theater in New York

They were one of son #1’s first favorite artists. More recently, son #2, age 14, has become a Weezer fanatic. Monday night he was thrilled to learn he was one of the winners of a Weezer fan photo contest on Facebook run by iheartradio, the web streaming portal property of terrestrial radio giant Clear Channel Communications. The prize: two tickets to an invitation-only Weezer show at the P.C. Richard & Son Theater in New York City.

Yesterday I took the afternoon off to escort my son and three friends to the show (one of those friends won the contest too). I hadn’t expected to see the show myself, but the promoters, as they crossed off the names of the contest winners and their guests lined up outside the theater waiting for the doors to open, offered me free admission.

I figured the promoters say the show will only be an hour long — how uncomfortable could it get. After all, it was a chilly evening, I wasn’t dressed warmly enough for a long walk in TriBeCa, and World Series game 1 wouldn’t even be starting on taproom TVs until just before the scheduled end of the show. So I decided to take up the promoters on their offer.

I’m glad I did.

Weezer’s songs are upbeat and catchy, and in the show they delivered them with intensity and enthusiasm. The sound, in the recently opened intimate, seat-less performance space (capacity 250) — “theater” is a misnomer — was clear and the volume just right.

Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

For me the highlights were the infectious “I’m Your Daddy”, the very danceable “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” with its spoken word segments, and the raucous show closer, “Buddy Holly” from their 1994 debut self-titled “blue album.” (The first and second are singles from Weezer’s new album Raditude, scheduled for release next week.)

On the way in the room, the two young female security guards motioned all those entering toward the stage. That’s where my son and his friends wanted to be, and, as a result of our having lined up outside 90 minutes before the doors opened, they got their wish. (My son captured the  pictures accompanying this post.) I, on the other hand, asked one of the guards if I could stand in the back, lamely claiming “I’m a dad”. At first she was adamant, but quickly relented, probably after taking a second look at me, agreeing “you’re a dad”. It turns out I had nothing to fear — but I was glad to be in the back all the same.

There was one down note: the show lasted not an hour but a mere 30 minutes. Although I heard only minor grumbling in the audience when front man Rivers Cuomo announced after five songs that the next song would be the last — I think most of us were too surprised to react — I have to think the vast majority of the audience shared  my disappointment. My appetite had just been whetted when it ended.

So is it a lesson here that I should be at least a bit more tuned in to new music — that I might hear I lot of other stuff I would like? I may have gotten a sign to that effect: This morning the car radio, with its dial left set to the station my son favors on the rare occasions he doesn’t opt for his iPod, greeted me with “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” from the concert set list.

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