I discovered Weezer in 1996 when we bought our first family computer. The video for Buddy Holly was included with the Windows 95 CD in the “Fun Stuff” section. Like many other people at that time I knew nothing of the band, but the inclusion of this video led to an increase in their popularity. The Happy Days style video directed by Spike Jonze won much praise and is certainly a landmark in the history of music videos. But Buddy Holly isn’t just about the fantastic video, it’s about the song. It’s one of my favourites of all time and always will be. It’s the reason I bought the Blue Album and the reason why that song is now accompanied by many other Weezer songs in that list of my all time greatest tracks. Ok not all their albums have been up to scratch but that’s understandable considering the amount of time they’ve been going. Many bands would kill for even the slightest amount of success that Weezer have had.
After the Blue Album came the classic Pinkerton and for Weezer those two initial albums will probably never be beaten in terms of quality. However, the Green album and Maladroit are great and there are moments on Make Believe I really enjoy. The Alone recordings by Rivers Cuomo are the reason I decided to start playing guitar, as it really opened my eyes to the fact that song writing can be about anything you want it to be. As soon as I discovered that freedom everything became a lot easier in terms of writing my own songs and finding a style that suited me.
There are also plenty of Weezer B-Sides that make the grade and there is at least another album’s worth of quality tracks within them. Everything Will Be Alright In The End (EWBAITE) made me believe that these guys could still write songs after I lost faith in them after the release of Hurley (yuck). It was clear Rivers went through a horrible phase of enjoying terrible music and this in turn had a horrendous effect on his song writing ability. EWBAITE seemed to apologise for that and has been on regular rotation in my album collection since its release in 2014.
When new songs began emerging for The White Album it became clear that the good form was to continue. The songs are uplifting and summery with great riffs and solos. They are once again catchy and infectious and LA Girlz sums up everything I love about this band. There were times when I thought they could never write such a song again but they proved me wrong. For me it’s the highlight of the White Album and the reason my hopes are now high that the sticky patch is over and the good times are back. There’s still a lot of life left in this band and I’m excited to hear that they are working on new material in the form of the darker Black Album. Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to be weary of the release especially if they do it so soon after their latest offering. I really hope that they take their time and produce something great.
The gig on 5 April at Brixton was fantastic. Weezer don’t play too much over here and when they do I always try to go. I’ve never seen them do a bad gig and they are always hugely enthusiastic about performing for us Brits. They didn’t disappoint and gave us a great set of songs. We were given a variety of classics such as Buddy Holly, Hash Pipe and El Scorchio right through to the best of the latest tracks on the White Album. I’m not usually one to sing along at gigs but I couldn’t help myself. I loved every minute of it along with everyone else in the arena. I sometimes feel like I’m the only person who likes Weezer but this was a reminder that they are still hugely popular over here and I’m sure in other parts of the world. They have built up this following since the early 90s and they deserve their success. Everyone in the band was on top form that night and it’s good to see them all playing the correct instruments! Last time I saw them Pat was out playing guitar. Sure he’s a great guitarist but that is not what the fans want to see. The lyrics in Back to the Shack confirm this fact.
Weezer know they will never be the cool kid’s choice, but they are the band for everyone else. They showed they can still put on a great show and I’m excited about the new material they are producing.
Here’s a playlist of the songs that were played at the gig: