Concert Reviews
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Weezer infests New York on Halloween (10/31)

on November 02, 2009, 3:15pm

Halloween — a holiday that means many things to many people. For young children it is a chance to go to strangers’ homes and ask for free candy. For college coeds it is a chance to dress as scantily as possible and imbibe copious amounts of alcohol. And, for some 3,400 lucky fans on this particular Halloween, it was a chance to see Weezer take over New York City.

On October 31st, Hammerstein Ballroom played host to the MetroPCS Masquerade presented by WRXP 101.9. The bill saw PT Walkley, Matt and Kim, and Weezer taking the stage for a sold out crowd. The former two acts more than held their own, but this was truly Weezer’s night to be kings of the ball.

Weezer took to the stage promptly at 10 p.m. amidst the Rocky theme blaring in the background. Being a masquerade, the band emerged fully decked out in large, plush bug costumes. Following a quick, incredibly surprising instrumental cover of “Seven Nation Army” by his bandmates to kick off the evening, frontman Rivers Cuomo appeared as the familiar sounds of “Hash Pipe” rang aloud. This, of course, prompted more than a few fans to light up (this being despite security’s best effort to perhaps curtail such activities by confiscating lighters at the door). “Undone (The Sweater Song)” followed, during which Cuomo invited members of the crowd onstage to literally strip the band members of their costumes. Cuomo finished the song atop the drum riser, proclaiming “Insects of the world –- Unite!”.

Some fans may have been wary of the idea that Weezer might heavily support Raditude (the quartet’s newest CD) during the show, but the boys from L.A. limited their newest material to just three songs — “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”, “Can’t Stop Partying”, and “I’m Your Daddy”. “I Want You To” was quite the affair, with Leighton Meester (of Gossip Girl fame) dueting with Cuomo while Nat Wolff of The Naked Brothers Band (seriously…) played guitar.

The rest of Weezer’s set relied heavily on the band’s classic material. All but six songs were from albums pre-Make Believe. Covers also abounded — “Surf Wax America” segued into Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and during the first encore the band superbly performed a mash-up of MGMT’s “Kids” and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” (YouTube it!).

The only thing that perhaps could have made the show better would have been more banter between Cuomo, the band, and the crowd. Weezer, for the most part, swiftly moved from song to song with minimal talking in-between (their main set of 16 songs took precisely one hour). This stood in stark contrast to Matt and Kim who preceded them (the duo from Brooklyn spent a considerable amount of time talking to the crowd — including a speech by Kim about how “Halloween is about two things: 1) having a shit ton of fun and 2) dressing slutty so you get some!”).

The band closed the night with fan-favorite “Buddy Holly”, before assembling at the head of the stage to take a bow. The crowd roared with appreciation that did not subside until long after the band left the stage for the final time. While results might have varied in regards to dressing slutty to get some, as it pertained to Weezer, they put on a splendid performance, making sure some was gotten by all.

Setlist:
Seven Nation Army (Instrumental)
Hash Pipe
Undone (The Sweater Song)
Troublemaker
Surf Wax America
War Pigs
Why Bother?
Say It Ain’t So
Dope Nose
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
Perfect Situation
Can’t Stop Partying
Tired of Sex
I’m Your Daddy
My Name is Jonas
Beverly Hills

Encore 1:
Pork and Beans
Kids/Pokerface

Encore 2:
Island in the Sun
Buddy Holly

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