From the moment the giant ‘W’ hanging over the stage starts to shine, the energy in the room is electric. It’s been five long years since the band last performed on these shores, but if anything, Weezer are stronger now than they ever have been.
“It’s gonna be alright, if you’re on a sinking ship,” Rivers sings on opening number “California Kids,” “we’ll throw you a lifeline.” Transporting the audience away from their worries via an arsenal of pop hits that seems almost endless, the four-piece stand as giants. As the sunshine of “California Kids” give way to the driving guitars of “My Name Is Jonas”, which in turn fades into the thundering riffs of “Hash Pipe”, the crowd settle into the momentum of a night that doesn’t cease to amaze.
Drawing from every era of their ever-growing history, Weezer leave no stone unturned. From the self-referential lyrics of “Back To The Shack”, through the rallying cries of “L.A. Girlz”, to the breakneck pace of “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” the energy on the floor barely gives way for even a moment. Belting out a line from Spandau Ballet’s “True” mid-“Pork And Beans”, the band revel in the moment as much as their audience. As they pause mid-song to lead the crowd in a rousing sing along to a verse from “El Scorcho”, there isn’t a soul that doesn’t feel elated.
The White Album may have been released less than a week ago, but the drawling refrains of “Do You Wanna Get High?” and the anthemic chorus shouts of “Thank God for Girls” have already found their place in the hearts of the devoted. Meeting each song with as much fervour as the last, the night is a celebration, not only of everything Weezer have achieved, but of every moment the group have soundtracked, tying the crowd together through their shared adoration.
Sure, there’s still the odd joker in the crowd heckling for Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”, but as the chorus cries of “Say It Ain’t So” lead towards the twanging guitars of “Undone – The Sweater Song”, there’s nothing more to want for. Whether it’s the sun-kissed splendour of “Island In The Sun” that fills the venue with nostalgia, or the euphoric power of “King Of The World” that places everyone firmly in the moment, there’s something that speaks to everyone in the room.
It’s rare to find a band that can incite such vividly felt devotion, but from the moment Weezer take to the stage, there isn’t a single person in the venue who can’t sense it. Performing tracks from every corner of their career, the group make no compromise, and appear at their unadulterated best. With the promise of UK festival appearances this summer, the band are at a high that shows no signs of ending. They might not be kings of the world (yet), but for the time they’re on stage, Weezer are the rulers of their domain – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.