"We'll never feel bad anymore": Weezer & The Pixies at Budweiser Stage, July 14th 2018
Updated: Feb 2, 2020
The set times were tight last night at Budweiser Stage, packed with three bands and loads of catalogue to get through. Following up openers, The Wombats from Liverpool, The Pixies took the stage to a massive wave of excitement. It wasn’t the first time the two bands have co-headlined the venue. Weeks prior to the concert, fans who had been at the show the last time Weezer and the Pixies came to town expressed their excitement online for another round.
Entering the stage sans eye contact with the audience, the Pixies played a 21-song set list that never stopped and left very little time for engagement with the crowd. Musically, the performance was fantastic. The mix of indie punk the band is known for translated beautifully in terms of sound but unfortunately, the performance was emotionally vacant. Personally, I felt like the band members were bored and would rather have been anywhere else.
Despite that, the set list was brilliant. Big hits like “Debaser” and “Where is my Mind” kept the crowd alive while tracks like “Isla de Encata” mixed up the setlist with some back catalogue stuff. Ending the evening, the Pixies played their cover of Neil Young's "Winterlong"- perfectly appropriate for a Canadian tour date and then headed off stage. Want to pretend like you were there? Check out my Spotify playlist below of the whole set list!
Of course, most people were their to see Weezer and they were not disappointed. The set kicked off with the drop of a big curtain revealing the stage had been turned into a high school setting with front man Rivers Cuomo in preppy school uniform garb. Kicking off the evening the same as they have on the rest of the tour, the boys in the band launched into “Buddy Holly” and without looking back or slowing down, right into “Beverly Hills” off Make Believe and “Pork and Beans” off The Red Album. From start to finish, a mass chorus of voices hung on to and sang along with Rivers Cuomo's every word.
The set time was quite short- just about an hour and ten minutes but it was over flowing with hits that kept coming non-stop. Just a few songs into the set, the whole stage was changed into a garage before Weezer began to play songs off The Blue Album including “My Name is Jonas” and of course, “In The Garage” as well as Pinkerton hits, “El Scorcho” and “Pink Triangle” to the grounds joy.
One thing I always love about seeing Weezer is they don't take themselves too seriously. The band members all genuinely seemed to be having fun on stage. Simple guitar and drum beats kept the night just poppy enough and the mood over the top.
At one point, Rivers dawned a sailor’s outfit and hopped onto a scooter as guitarist Brian Bells played and sang “Keep Fishin’” off Maldroit. Scooting through the stadium, Rivers ended up halfway back in the venue and did an acoustic rendition of “Island in the Sun” as well as covers of “I’ve Got the Magic” (the new BOB track they're featured on) and A-ha’s “Take on Me”.
Left: Photo by Ryan Mueller
Long time fans and newbies alike went home giggling, discussing the play list, belting out songs and completely satisfied. On my way out, I heard no complaints about a lack of back catalogue despite the hit-heavy set (how refreshing!). While the set was on the short side and back catalogue jams were few and far between, there was no denying that Weezer aimed to please and please they did. Mixing in pyrotechnics with an insanely up beat and danceable setlist, it was a site to behold. Striking a balance between having fun and sounding great, the evening was one non-stop party. For the full set list, check out my Spotify playlist below!
Peace, love & history.