Curiocity: Weezer Rocks Basilica Block Party

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Sara Boyd Sara Pelissero
Sara Pelissero joined the WCCO web team in August of 2009. You can...
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When it comes to pleasing a crowd, it seems Weezer — and frontman Rivers Cuomo — has this down to a science.

Sure, I may be biased. I put Weezer in my list of “all-time favorite bands” before I even understood the complexities of its lyrics. But still, being mashed in the middle of a 13,000-some crowd last Friday night, I could tell I wasn’t the only one enjoying the band’s stellar performance.

The last time I saw Weezer was at the Xcel Energy Center — not when the band came in 2008 but back when I was in high school. My fellow Weezer-lovers and I were so pumped to see Rivers in action, so we crammed the general admission area early, ready to get our front row seats for all the “W hand gesturing” action.

By the time Weezer graced the stage, the crowd really started to pack in — so much so that our tiny high school frames were quickly being smushed against the barricades. It was hot and it was hard to breathe. And before long, I felt the hand of my friend grasp my arm as she fell back into unconsciousness.

Some fellow Weezer fans behind us graciously caught her but alas, the crowd was too loud for us to get the attention of a security guard. So, as it turned out, the only way to get her out of there was to send her up. Yes, we lifted my friend’s limp body up to the crowd-surfing gods and hoped for the best.

About halfway toward the front of the stage, she awoke, only to realize she was 1.) crowd surfing unconscious and 2.) getting a great view of Mr. Rivers himself. It was safe to say the fainting incident wasn’t all bad.

Having that as a previous experience, I was looking forward to seeing the band again last Friday at the Basilica Block Party — this time at a comfortable distance with plenty of air. (Sidenote: Forgive my tardiness on this review, but I feel the shout out is still valid.)

They did not disappoint. For a group that’s been rocking since the early 1990s, you gotta give them a lot of credit. The level of energy that came through this 40-something group of misfits would’ve blown the roof off, if there was one to be blown.

Rivers kept things as lively as possible while taking turns climbing different objects on stage to stealing headbands and visors from fans for his own on-stage fashion. He attempted to define where the city got its name and even dedicated a song to the people using the portable toilets. All class, that Rivers.

The drumming styles of Josh Freese allowed for the band’s original drummer, Patrick Wilson, to show off some guitar riffing. That is, until the end of the show when all five members took to the drum stage to bang out a solo for the ages.

The band played all their classics — including one of my personal favs, “Surf Wax America” — and only threw a few recent hits into the set list, a smart move. Of course, as any Weezer concert typically goes, I would’ve loved to hear more hits off their arguably best album, “Pinkerton” but hey, at least we got “El Scorcho.”

The band kept things lively throwing a few covers in the mix, including a somewhat out-of-left-field tribute to Lady Gaga that spurred Rivers to don a blond wig, dancing around the stage in a way that totally reminded me of that tea party scene with E.T.

Gaga’s “Poker Face” oddly enough meshed quite well with the band’s cover of MGMT’s “Kids,” which may or may not have been a slight jab to MGMT in showing how easily that song can be played — and played well.

The whole show was most excellent. It was everything I thought it could be and more. Not that my undying love had faded at all, but Weezer completely revitalized my allegiance, making it abundantly apparent why they’ve been able to continue rocking all these years.

Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.

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