Last weekend, me and my partner in awesome, The Peanut Butter to my Jelly, or the Pants to my Ants as it were, returned to the Xfinity Center in Mansfield to witness the greatness that is called Panic! at the Disco and Weezer playing a show together. Now, I may not be the biggest Panic! fan, but apparently the Panic! fans outnumbered the Weezer fans at this juncture, or the weather freaked out enough people to cause them to leave. Let that be whatever it was, because what was important is how GodDamned awesome that show was. I liked Panic! a bit at the beginning of their intital climb up the charts, but I certainly lost track of them in recent years, and lost quite a bit of care for them, for no real reason, other than they disappeared from the spotlight. Yet most of the people lined up to see them last Friday were younger than we were when we first became somewhat interested in their goings on. But let me say this, their set was incredible regardless of some sound issues, which always seems to be the case with the first band at this and other assorted venues. There was great energy, and so much power emanated off the singer. The band was super tight, and with the exception of most tracks off of this year’s “Death of A Bachelor,” and a few of their earlier tracks, I didn’t really know anything else that they performed. But it was terrific, and the stage presence was certainly worthy of writing home about. My favorite track on their setlist was probably the song they opened the set with, “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time,” or maybe that was second. It’s hard for anything they did to stand up to their rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was nothing short of awe-inspiring. And the moment he took his shirt off halfway through the set, and the stadium exploded with screams, you’d think nobody saw a shirtless man before.
I was a bit sad to miss Mr. Andrew McMahon, who opened up the show, but I was at least glad that I already saw him on The Wilderness Politics tour, because he is one incredible showman in his own right.
It was pouring, and lightninging, but the show went on, and on it went. Redundant I know, but nothing prepared me for just how awesome Rivers Cuomo and company were in a live setting. They kicked off the set very energetically with the first track off of “The White Album,” “California Girls,” jumping straight into “Green Album” staple, “Hash Pipe,” and continuing to impress with a career spanning set including, a terrific and terrifically random medley of sorts, “combining, “Back To The Shack,” “Keep Fishin’,” Dope Nose,” and others, featuring a very impassioned finale to the medley, with a super fast version of “Surf Wax America.” I screamed along with every word with almost every song in the set, except for maybe, “Jacked Up,” from “The White Album,” as I’m still a bit hazy on the words. “Thank God For Girls,” “My Name Is Jonas,” “Pork and Beans,” “If You’re Wondering If I Want You To, I Want You To,” “Perfect Situation,” “Island In The Sun,” and “Beverly Hills.” There was even a mash up between “King Of The World,” and “Only In Dreams.” But I don’t think a Weezer show would be complete without “Undone(The Sweater Song),” “Say It Ain’t So,” “Buddy Holly,” or “El Scorcho,” which were all terrific, and never felt dated at any point. Everything by Weezer always feels fresh and new on each listen, and I think that’s what keeps them relevant.
Rivers was such a captivating and charming presence, and his little comments here and there really showed how much he loves what he does, even if it sometimes drives him mad, or gives him long breaks with reality at times in his career. They made me and my friends believe we could get somewhere with our music, and the story of Weezer should continue to give every musician hope.