red lights

Freaks and Geeks

United Center
Chicago, IL
September 21, 2001
Rivers goes nerdy.

Story and Photo by Rob Grabowski

Upon entering the United Center for the Weezer show last night, one might wonder if they had just entered the Twilight Zone or the set of "Revenge of the Nerds." From pierced eye lids to horn rimmed glasses, held together with scotch tape, the socially challenged were there to see their favorite geek band that makes it hip to be square.
From the moment Weezer stepped onto the stage the eleven thousand plus crowd glued their eyes and hearts on Rivers Cuomo. The cool dweeb, dressed in a white cardigan sweater and thick black framed glasses stepped ever so slowly to the mic with a deer-in-the headlights look that was quickly replaced with a sly smile. Woody Allen needs a therapist, River Cuomo needs a philosopher.
The band mixed their special blend of 50s style rock 'n roll and good natured pop with a peppering of today's alternative. It is apparent that the band got where they are today by relying on their crooner's vocal stylings and quirky lyrics. The rest of the band slowly bleed out their harmonies while Cuomo lays the foundation with his potent words. You either get them or you don't. On tunes like "The Sweater Song," where the whole song revolves around pulling a thread to destroy a sweater or "Photograph" where the sweet Beatlesque harmonies mix with the expressiveness of a Molotov cocktail, Weezer displayed their strengths along side their goofy brand of weirdness. The dipping rhythms and chopped up guitar on "Hash Pipe" smoked out the girls in attendance to figuratively grab their boyfriend's wallets in fear of tomorrows misdeeds.
The evening wouldn't be complete until the boys paid homage to the late, great "Buddy Holly." 50s rock played so fresh with an intelligent understanding of what to change and more importantly, what not to.
Weezer will have no problems selling CDs to the masses of high school and college kids who have their noses buried in the books unless the local bullies decide to take their lunch money away.

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