I wasn’t a concert going kid. I didn’t start really going to concerts until I was really done with college. Sure, I went to a few in high school but it was usually because someone had a free ticket. I guess I figured I could spend my money on something better. Thankfully my wife came along and changed my thinking.
One in a long list
After we started dating and discovered we both really loved music, we started going to concerts. We’ve seen quite a run of shows, from George Strait to Prince to Guns N Roses. I’ve lost track of how many and have probably forgotten a few, but there is a short list of concerts I’ll never forget.
This year at the Ohio State Fair, Weezer played a show and it was awesome. Easily a top five concert for me. Not only was it just a good show, but this is one of the few concerts we’ve been to that is music from our generation. We’ve seen lots of hair metal, which we love, but to be perfectly honest, we’re too young to really claim that music as “ours”. No, we’re the grunge generation – Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam – and of course, Weezer.
I remember I got a copy Weezer’s first album on tape from a friend when I was a freshman in high school. It had all of the blue album on it and then some of Radiohead’s “Pablo Honey”. It didn’t hurt that I thought the guy that made me the copy was pretty cool, so just by association this was “good” music. But it turns it out, it really was good music. Weezer doesn’t really tread over any new ground, but their music isn’t boring or bad either. It’s just some solid rock music.
A live show worth seeing
And let me tell you their live show is solid too. However, I must say it was somewhat surprising for me to find out that Weezer was coming to the Ohio State Fair. Maybe I’m just in a bit of “I’m not that old” denial, but I usually reserve the Fair for acts that are either up-and-coming, or past their prime. And I look at the other acts we’ve seen at the fair – Quiet Riot, Alice Cooper, Slaughter – all good shows but not exactly bands at the front of people’s minds. Apparently, Weezer isn’t really top of the pops anymore either. Bummer.
The Weezer show itself was top notch, especially for a State Fair show. The lead singer, Rivers, was high energy all night…however, I think that’s because he’s, shall we say, a special boy. He’s gotta have some sort of condition because the man couldn’t stop moving all night, hell, he even had a trampoline on stage. It also seemed like he had to always have something in his hand. He grabbing anything he could to stay busy. At one point he even grabbed a power outlet on the stage and held it up like a prize fish. Gotta say it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anyone use a power strip as a rock out accessory…but whatever works, I guess.
Rivers ran through the crowd and even sang with the lady doing sign language for the audience. While he was running around the whole venue causing havoc, I wondered what his band mates thought of it all. I’m sure they’re used to it by now, but it was pretty crazy. They gave everyone their money’s worth, that’s for sure. I also have to give props to the sound mixer guy that was working that night because it sounded awesome. You’d be surprised how great music can sound in what is nothing more than a big aluminum barn. I’ve been too many live shows that have a horrible mix and everything sounds peaked. Weezer sounded great. You could hear all the parts and sing along without any problems.
And one last thing about Weezer’s show…they cranked through the tunes. Their set list ran the gammit of their albums, but everything they played was a single (I think). From the blue album to their most recent, they slammed through all of them…bam, bam, bam. I was really happy to hear “Surf Wax America” but wish they had played “Keep Fishin” as a full song, instead they rolled it up into another song. But their hit all their hits and ended on “Buddy Holly” like one might expect. They didn’t waste any time and ended up with probably 15 songs played, including a little Van Halen and Lady Gaga. Yeah.
This concert was probably one of five I’ve seen in my life where I genuinely loved the music before I even got there. I grew up with this music. I discovered it naturally at a time in my life when music made a huge impact. This wasn’t a hair metal band I’m seeing now only because I’m too young to have seen them in 1986. Weezer is my music. It’s our music. Very few bands have turned me into bigger fans after seeing them live. Welcome to club, Weezer.
My Top Five Live Shows (in no particular order)