Monday, September 16, 2013
Concert review: Nerd rockers Weezer played excellent encore at WinStar
Say it ain't so? Weezer says it is.
THACKERVILLE, OKLA. Just as they did 15 years ago, unconventional rock stars Weezer unleashed nerdy alt-rock on Saturday, this time at WinStar World Casino and Resort. The four-piece has been at it since front man Rivers Cuomo and drummer Patrick Wilson — the only original touring members — began writing angst-heavy songs riddled with fancy guitar work and surprisingly entertaining vocals in the early '90s. Although they’ve grown up, the guys in the corner can still shred a guitar and blow a few speakers.
The guys stepped out with “My Name Is Jonas,” and the signature “W” dominated the backdrop, lit up by glowing light bulbs and bursts of smoke. This over-the-top approach was just a glimpse of their humorous personas; Cuomo, in signature black-framed glasses and a bright orange jacket, quietly and awkwardly bantered with the crowd as the show began. He found his comfort zone articulating the lyrics with just the right amount of punch in “Hash Pipe” and “El Scorcho.”
Although the focus is usually on Cuomo on and off the stage, each band member owned his platform in quirky style: Keyboardist/guitarist Brian Bell wailed through a fuzzy talk box in “Beverly Hills,” manipulating the guitar solos with his mouth instead of his hands. All three guitar-wielding members sliced and diced solos as if this were their last tour. Cuomo, without his safety blanket — the guitar — tucked his hands in his pockets.
A glance across the swelling crowd revealed “W” hand signs tossed up throughout the evening, fueling the appreciative headliner. Reclining number “Island In The Sun” washed through the crowd like a soft breeze, giving the guys a chance to take a breath during the aggressive catalog. They flexed their harmony chops in “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” with Cuomo's arm outstretched, as if it were choreographed. But once “Say It Ain’t So” hit, the romanticized flashes ended and the audience members steamrolled through the chorus as if they were singing words from their own diaries.
Weezer's encore was one of the strongest in the area so far this year. Short and sweet, the guys played a fleeting intro of Capital Cities' “Safe And Sound” before diving into “Undone (The Sweater Song).” Bassist Scott Shriner ad-libbed the song's party conversation with his own musings, laying the ground during Cuomo’s vigorous and romping guitar segment. The entire band stepped up to the drum kit and ended with a rousing percussion solo that could make Travis Barker grin.