The creative renaissance of Weezer’s latter-day career continues to go strong, with the release of their solid, maybe-conceptual eponymous record The White Album proving that their last record/return-to-form, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, was no fluke. It’s a pretty great time to be a Weezer fan, and this past week was a particularly great time to be a Weezer fan in Los Angeles as the band played an intimate show at The Troubadour before venturing off on a nationwide trek with Panic! At The Disco later this summer.
Seeing a band of Weezer’s stature in a club-sized venue is a real treat for the die-hards who typically might only be able to spy the band members’ facial expressions on arena jumbo screens, but there was definitely a sense that the close quarters provided something of a thrill to Rivers Cuomo and the gang, too. Kicking things off with White Album opener “California Kids,” it was immediately evident that this was going to be a special night, with the band’s big rock sound translating remarkably well to the confines of The Troubadour.
After some soul-searching and musical experimentation, it seems that Weezer is in the chapter of their career where they know what fans want to hear most from them. and luckily, they’ve got a big enough discography at this point to deliver that while still providing diversity and avoiding the feeling of solely relying on now-decades-old glories. And so the sold-out show was treated to classic ’90s cuts like “The Good Life” and “My Name Is Jonas” along with more modern crowdpleasers like “Pork and Beans” and “Perfect Situation.”
Pinkerton-era b-side “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly” (previously given the acoustic treatment when the band played in Santa Ana in 2014) was performed, with guitarist Brian Bell taking on lead vocal duties.
Another notable addition to the setlist was EWBAITE’s instrumental album closer, “The Waste Land;” it was played previously as part of the band’s performance of that album front to back, but the song still worked remarkably well thrown into a more traditional “shuffle” setlist.
And of course, the new songs fit the band like a glove in the live setting. “LA Girlz” and “Do You Wanna Get High?” instantly felt like they belonged just as much as older classics like “Say It Ain’t So,” “Undone (The Sweater Song),” and encore closer “Buddy Holly.”
It’s a good time to be a Weezer fan. If the music they’re releasing wasn’t enough of an indicator, seeing them still kick ass live just reaffirmed it. The band was just confirmed for next month’s KROQ Weenie Roast, so if you have the chance to, definitely check them out!
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