LIVE: Two Different Shades of Weezer at Work Together at The Belasco Theater (11/7/2014)
November 7, 2014
The Belasco Theater
Los Angeles, California
For Weezer’s homecoming at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, the band was billed to do something that in previous years could have been more of a chore than a treat: play their newest album in its entirety. But with the arrival of their latest LP—the actually really awesome Everything Will Be Alright in the End—this decision turned out to be most welcome, and provided a perfect opportunity for the Weezer of old to complement the Weezer of new.
The acoustic portion of night began quietly enough, with Rivers Cuomo coming out from behind the curtain, picking up an acoustic guitar, and performing a beautiful version of the Pinkerton B-side “You Gave Your Love to Me Softly” (face-melting solo and all). For the next three songs, Brian Bell, Scott Shriner, and Pat Wilson each came out on stage one-by-one (à la Stop Making Sense) until the full arrangement was rapturously greeted by the audience singing along to every word of Cuomo classics like “El Scorcho” and “Buddy Holly.”
Following the acoustic set (and an intermission), the band returned to the expanded stage in stadium-worthy outfits to perform Everything Will Be Alright in the End front to finish. From the first note of “Ain’t Got Nobody,” each member of the group seemed right at home playing the new material, turning in finely-tuned and inspired renditions of the album’s thirteen tracks. And while some of Rivers’ new lyrics may seem diminished from what they once were, that didn’t stop a large portion of the audience from singing along to each new song just as they had the old.
At one point, Rivers mentioned that the Belasco Theater was an appropriate place for Weezer to perform, given that the venue was named for David Belasco—writer of the first stage adaptation of John Luther Long’s “Madame Butterfly.” The opera version of that production, which came a few years later, heavily inspired the band’s 1996 sophomore classic. Appropriately enough, after their scorching encore of “Getchoo,” a couple of prepared fans in the front row threw roses to the group, just as they might have, perhaps, at the finale of a moving rendition of Puccini’s Opera. For his part, Rivers made sure to stop and pick up every flower on the way out.
You Gave Your Love to Me Softly
The Other Way
The Good Life
Island in the Sun
Across the Sea
Ain’t Got Nobody
Back to the Shack
Eulogy for a Rock Band
I’ve Had It Up to Here
The British Are Coming
Go Away (with Bethany Cosentino)
The Futurescope Triology: I. The Wasteland
The Futurescope Triology: II. Anonymous
The Futurescope Triology: III. Return to Ithaka