Although summer will inevitably come to an end sooner rather than later, Wednesday night served as a long lasting summer night in with three killer performances to remember. Rock ‘n Roll veterans, Weezer and Pixies joined forces to co-headline a Summer-long Tour, making a stop at none-other than the fabulous Forum. While English rock band The Wombats came along for the first part of tour, we were granted with the lovely Sleigh Bells. Serving as one of our favorite noise-pop duos, Sleigh Bells brought no disappointment to a quick yet heavy-hitter opening set. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller create exceptional energy that effortlessly filled the vast venue.
First up on the co-headlining bill were Pixies! The sold out crowd went crazy as the lights cast silhouettes among the band members making their way to stage. Front and center was Mr. Black Francis. Not looking for a quite active set, the members pretty much stood in the same spot for the duration of their set, however what they created was nothing short of magical. Pixies are considered one of the bands associated with the big alternative rock boom of the 90’s. They create their intricate music which comes at you very loud at times as well as mellow. The mixture of their dreamy and heavy side couldn’t be more in sync. Much of the crowd were vibing and singing along.
With a short 30 minute intermission following Pixies’ set, Weezer made there way on stage to close the night out. The lights went out and a giant black scrim blocked the view of the stage. Music began and everyone were out of their seats. The black scrim predictably dropped, which revealed the men of the hour! Weezer! The intro to the ‘74 Classic “Happy Days” played over the speakers, introducing WEEZER!
Frontman, Rivers Cuomo was standing in his own confident way, while he began playing guitar and singing to the opening number “Buddy Holly” along with the wild crowd. Weezer fans appeared bold and proud as their favorite nerdy rockstars lit up the stage.
Going straight through with some more well-known hits like “Beverly Hills” and “Hash Pipe” these guys were just getting started. They truly are the kings of musical anthems. They’ve well earned the rocker status and street cred. for their continued unique sound. Having recently released their 10th and 11th records practically a year apart, they keep coming in hot with their classic sound. Their sound has always contained the distorted guitar riffs whilst mixing in a fun upbeat sound to get the listener moving. In some way, their music continues to feel relevant.Cuomo has come to be one of the most likable frontmen in his genre. He has this undeniable spunk that just about anyone could relate to. With quirky lyrics and rockin’ music getting them by, Weezer proudly took the night away. Thank god for this band, really. Looking around at people of all ages letting loose and enjoying their night as if nothing else in the world mattered was so incredible to see. As for the band, it was clear they felt that energy and excitement. After all, Cuomo did address that there’s truly nothing like an LA crowd.. which is where they started it all in ‘94. The band spoiled us with their fun cover of “Happy Together” by The Turtles, mashes up with Green Day’s “Longview”. The songs blended effortlessly and everyone sang along like clockwork!
In such a large space it can sometimes seem hard to connect to the musicians on stage and vice versa I’m sure. Weezer had no trouble. With their set designed to look like their old garage they used to practice in – AC/DC poster and all – Cuomo seemed to feel right at home with everyone. With the set seemingly coming to a closing, Cuomo decided to get even closer to the cheering fans. Hopping on a scooter, he made his way along the side of the floor seats and towards a small stage in the center back of the venue! All eyes on him he decided to play a few songs acoustically. First and foremost, Cuomo performed an amazing rendition of the band’s 2001 classic, “Island In The Sun”. All cell phone lights turned on, the entire venue shone so bright. Then just for fun, Rivers covered 80’s band A-Ha’s classic “Take On Me”. Once back on stage with his bandmates, Rivers and the guys appropriately performed their latest single “Feels Like Summer” which just kept everyone on their feet dancing along. Ending their already lengthy set was noneother than the expected Toto cover of “Africa”! Fans seemed to go crazy when the band released this cover a few months ago. Little did they know they’d get a surprise from the very unexpected Weird Al Yankovic! Now that’s a duo I don’t think anyone imagined. Once the band left the stage they did in fact return to loud applause for an encore of two hits from ‘94, “Susanne” and the ever-popular “Say It Ain’t So” which they mashed up with Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”.
What a night!
Words & Photography: Danielle Gornbein