Both of the main acts from this double bill were 90s staples for alternative rock fans. Pixies were up first. Admittedly my familiarity with them is limited. I know some of their music especially the great tune “Where Is My Mind” from the Trainspotting soundtrack. And I certainly had never seen them live previously, so I was coming in a blank canvas with no reference point.
After taking the stage with zero fanfare or real lead up other than the lights going off frontman/guitarist Black Francis, guitarist Joey Santiago, drummer Dave Lovering, and bassist Paz Lenchantin (formerly of A Perfect Circle, who also has a decent voice herself) got to work and this was a real workman like 60 minutes of music. That might sound like a good thing, but it wasn’t. Until song 14 there was no one even moving. I had never seen that in a concert before and I have attended a ton. The roughly 8,000 who bought tickets were matching the energy level being projected from the stage. The musicianship was great with each mastering their instruments. But there was nothing to connect with. Singer Francis did not utter one word to the crowd. Not even a “thank you” or “Montreal!” That was also a first for me. Hardly acknowledged there were thousands of people in front of them. Strange.
Over 30 years have passed since some of these songs were written and first performed. They have aged well. A kind of timeless nature to them which are heavy yet melodic at the same time. Listening to their music you do understand why they are one of the most influential rock bands of the last 30 years. You could hear them in bands like Nirvana and even Radiohead. 90s alt-rock gods! Plenty of their songs have plenty of energy. Not long in duration they get to their apex quickly. All this earned them an almost cult-like standing within the community and legion of devoted fans.
Next up was one of the bands in the 90s which were influenced by Pixies, Weezer. All the interaction with the crowd that was missing during the Pixies’ set was there durings Weezer’s 75 minutes on stage. While it wasn’t manic it was there. After starting off dressed like a barber shop quartet standing in a single spotlight on the floor in front of the stage and singing the song that pretty much started it all off for them, “Buddy Holly”, they were a delight and exactly what you would hope for from a rock act.
After they walked up on stage and took off their striped outfits, the curtains came down to reveal a very Weezer set which looked like that from the Happy Days inspired video for that song. Totally old school in its reference to the beginnings of the band. An ode to their past while at the same time they played several songs from their new album whose title is a continuation of their habit of naming them colours. Teal is filled with covers of some surprising songs which you would not necessarily expect a band like Weezer. On this evening we got to hear “Take On Me”, “Happy Together”, “Africa”, and a crowd sing-a-long on “Stand By Me”. Plenty of fun.
Lead singer and guitarist Rivers Cuomo has always looked anything but a rock star. Rather the type of guy you would classify as a nerd with his baggy tie dyed shirt and black framed glasses with a strap to keep them on his head. Does not exactly cut a cool figure like Sting. But he is actually the perfect frontman for a rock act. A great guitar player who writes fun lyrics and engages with the crowd.
Monkey Gone to Heaven
Wave of Mutilation
Here Comes Your Man
Planet of Sound
Where Is My Mind?
All the Saints
In the Witching Hour
I’ve Been Tired
Winterlong (Neil Young cover)
Buddy Holly (Barbershop Version)
My Name Is Jonas
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
Africa (Toto cover)
Island in the Sun
Undone – The Sweater Song
No Other One (Tour Debut)
Pork and Beans
In the Garage
Living in L.A. (Tour Debut)
Surf Wax America (Rivers acoustic)
Stand by Me (Ben E. King cover) (Rivers acoustic; Live Debut)
Up the Beach (Jane’s Addiction cover)
Take On Me (a‐ha cover)
Say It Ain’t So
Happy Together (The Turtles cover) (WIth a snippet of “Longview” by Green Day)