Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, surrounded by longtime fans. Photos by Brittany Woolsey.
For about 500 lucky Weezer fans, last night’s intimate in-store performances provided an evening of firsts and rare experiences.
Supporting its latest album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, (EWBAITE), which was released Tuesday, Weezer performed acoustic versions of songs from the record at Fingerprints Music. The show was split into two sets, each with about 250 fans who had pre-ordered the album in order to gain access to the show.
It was the first time Weezer had played most of these songs for a live audience, and the reception from the crowd was energetic and appreciative.
For diehard Weezer fans, EWBAITE, the band’s ninth studio album, is a return to the band’s signature indie and garage rock band sound, complete with quirky lyrics. Following several records that sounded too overly-produced for Weezer, working once again with producer Ric Ocasek, who worked with the group on the successful self-titled album and the Blue Album, made EWBAITE a positive blast from the past.
The themes in the songs, however, are questionable and inconsistent as some allude to the band’s comeback and some, like “Eulogy for a Rock Band” and especially the words “everything will be alright in the end,” which are repeated in several songs, hint at the group’s eventual demise.
Playing songs new songs not only for the first time live but also acoustically was a daring move on Weezer’s part since acoustic sets usually only succeed when fans hear familiar songs played in a new and different way. However, Weezer managed to pull off this challenge well; despite the album being out for only a day, fans still proved they had already learned some of the lyrics as about a dozen joined Weezer on stage for songs like “Ain’t Got Nobody” and “Go Away,” which features Bethany Cosentino of indie/surf rock band Best Coast.
Sporting his token thick-rimmed glasses, singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo showed a humbleness about him as he greeted each on-stage fan and expressed appreciation for them sticking by the band for so long.
The line wrapping around Fingerprints several hours before the shows and the crowd’s dedication to learn the lyrics in less than 24 hours proves Weezer’s comeback. One can only hope the allusions on the album mean the group is here to stay, and not leaving.
Everything Will Be Alright in the End is available at record stores everywhere, including here in Long Beach at Fingerprints, where patrons can purchase the CD for $13.99 plus tax or the vinyl for $22.99 plus tax.
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