November 29, 2010
@ The Nob Hill Masonic Center
Better than: Almost everything. Seriously.
Weezer is calling it the Memories Tour; some fans have dubbed it Blinkerton. The band has just hit the road to do two nights per city -- the first to play its self-titled debut "blue album" in its entirety, the second to perform Pinkerton. So this'll be pretty straight forward, right? Predictable, even. Tonight, being night one, we'll go and watch Weezer play "The Blue Album" and feel all nostalgic and blah. Woo! "The Sweater Song!" Easy!
Well, no, actually. Because this turns out to be one of the strangest and most memorable shows we've ever seen. Ever. And for such a multitude of reasons, it's kind of hard to know where to even begin.
We should mention that every single person in the room has an assigned seat (like we're at the ballet), and that the overall vibe is therefore unusually civilized, even when Rivers Cuomo starts a toilet paper fight (yep!) later on. We should also mention that Rivers has a trampoline on stage and that he's not afraid to use it. And that bassist Scott Shriner gives an audience member a dollar and twenty-five cents at one point, just because she says she needs it.
Furthermore, we should mention that Rivers also surprises us by spending a significant amount of time in the crowd tonight, high-fiving his way around the room several times, and even abandoning it altogether during "Troublemaker" to scale the four flights of stairs (out in the lobby, no less), to get up to the balcony to hang out with the folk up there for a while. We should also mention that he starts "Pork And Beans" from inside the sound booth, of all places.
And yes, we did just say "Troublemaker" and "Pork And Beans," because tonight Weezer isn't just playing "The Blue Album" afterall. The band is, in Rivers' words, taking us "for a ride on the Weezer time machine," getting back to the 1994 debut via the medium of highlights from each and every one of their other albums -- starting with the newest, Memories, and working back. And, whichever way you look at it, that is awesomeness and value-for-money on a face-slapping, groin-kicking level.
That's all before we even get to the intermission part (yeah, you heard us -- intermission), after which we are treated to -- you couldn't make it up, ladies and gents -- a slide show. A really, really brilliant slide show in which we're walked through old Weezer photos and fliers and practice rooms from Back In The Day. And you know what? The slide show is so darn entertaining, we could've happily watched it for three hours (even if only to marvel at the fact that Cuomo hasn't aged in eighteen years -- spooky!)