Wednesday, January 23
REVIEW SIMON COLLINS
Time travel is fraught with danger. If you're not careful, you could suddenly pop up in prehistoric times and get chomped by a T-Rex. Or find yourself on the sharp end of a pike near the Bastille in 1789. Or even, shockingly, emerge from a portal on Scarborough Beach after last drinks on a Friday night.
Sometimes time travel is just weird - like on Wednesday evening where a few thousand Weezer fans gathered in the cavernous, very 2013 surrounds of the Perth Arena and tried to teleport back to 1994, the year the Californian alternative rock quartet released their seminal self-titled debut album, aka The Blue Album.
After walking on stage to the A Team TV theme, the timelords started the final show of their first Australia tour in 17 years in 2010 with the apt Memories, a rocker recalling their heyday when "Audioslave was still Rage (Against the Machine)".
Led by geek king Rivers Cuomo, Weezer then worked chronologically backwards through a greatest hits set, hitting their stride early with Pork and Beans before their giant flashing W logo rose above Pat Wilson's drum kit to herald another 2008 single in Troublemaker.
Bassist Scott Shriner took over vocals for Dope Nose when we paused in 2002, then the foursome were "possessed by the spirit of Perthian metal" for the chugging Hash Pipe, which caused a minor mosh pit in the general admission area.
A jump back to 1996 ushered in the excellent El Scorcho from once derided, now beloved second album Pinkerton before Weezer tore through 1995 rarity You Gave Your Love to Me Softly to end the "greatest hits" portion of the evening and leave fans stranded in 1994.
During the intermission - in case this gig wasn't weird enough - long-time Weezer roadie Karl Koch delivered a slideshow (yes, very '94) featuring pre-Weezer shots of Cuomo with dreadlocks, Cuomo playing bass in a Christian rock band and Cuomo practising karate.
Koch also took us on a pictorial tour of 2226 Amherst Avenue, Los Angeles, the band's home when they wrote and recorded The Blue Album.
Before he could read out too many early reviews panning Weezer as Nirvana wannabes, the quartet were back on the huge Arena stage with a simple, blue square backdrop mimicking the minimalist album cover hanging behind them.
The Blue Album doesn't work as a concert set-list, starting out with three riff-heavy album tracks (including the rockin' love song No One Else) before a blistering four-song run with Weezer's best ever song, Buddy Holly.
The band detailed their leisure time on tour during the talking bits of Undone - The Sweater Song before the thrash rock of Surf Wax America and then Say It Isn't So sparked a guitar duel between Cuomo and evergreen axeman Brian Bell.
Some people bailed after the latter single, and while the heavy riffage of In the Garage - a celebration of both Kiss and Dungeons & Dragons - was a winner, final track Only in Dreams was a down-tempo downer to end on, despite Cuomo's guitar heroics.A surprisingly boisterous crowd (scattered with members of Perth alt-rock royalty, including Eskimo Joe, the Sleepy Jackson, Jebediah, Gyroscope and Sugar Army) welcomed the encore of a beefed up Island in the Sun - a quick detour in 2001 before we arrived back in 2013, blinking at the light and glad to have all limbs intact.
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