TVD Live: Weezer at
the Black Cat, 2/27

Days before a new album was to come out, a week before another arena tour, Weezer played the cozy Black Cat in Washington, DC Wednesday for a Sirius XM broadcast Thursday, and naturally the free ticket giveaway brought a line down the block to the venerable 700-capacity club. As well-positioned for maximum promotion as it seemed to be, Weezer itself were as comfortably disheveled as ever in their ragged, thoroughly fun and exceedingly short set.

“Welcome to the rock show in a night club,” frontman Rivers Cuomo greeted, fully five songs into the set which the audience never dreamed was already half over. “It’s how it’s meant to be,“ he went on. “Just Weezer and 150 of its best buddies!”(Whether he couldn’t see the other 550 or considered them not buddies was not determined).

With guitarist Brian Bell, Scott Shriner on bass, and Patrick Wilson, who dates back to the 1992 beginnings of the band with Cuomo, they gave a nice sampling of work from across their career, including two from the 1996 high point Pinkerton, “The Good Life” which began the show, and “El Scorcho,” which sort of defines the band’s slacker approach of that era.

Aside from the incessant XM cameras and all the attendant branding, it was a punchy show that didn’t necessarily promote The Black Album set to drop on Friday. Only the single “Living in L.A.” with its interesting elements borrowed from different sources, and the Latin-tinges of “Can’t Knock the Hustle” were part of the show.

From their recent torrent of covers that range from their hit version of Toto’s “Africa” to everything on The Teal Album suddenly released last month, they chose only Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” which, even minus synthesizers, turned out to be a surprisingly joyous singalong, giving the right momentum of going into the main set closer “Say It Ain’t So.” It was the one song from their triple platinum 1993 debut, now known as The Blue Album.

That’s unless you counted the barbershop version of “Buddy Holly” that began the shambling encore. The night before, they had joined Jimmy Fallon and the professional Barbershop Gals to redo the song for The Tonight Show. Here, they did a passable version with just the four of them before they returned to instruments for the bliss of “Island in the Sun.” And following a short stab at Ratt’s “You’re in Love,” the band was gone and it wasn’t even 9 o’clock yet.

The Good Life
You Gave Your Love to Me Softly
Living in L.A.
El Scorcho
Can’t Knock the Hustle
Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Say It Ain’t So

Buddy Holly
Island in the Sun
You’re in Love

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