With support from Rival Schools and AWOLNATION, Weezer headlined Brooklyn’s premier high-capacity outdoor venue, Williamsburg Waterfront. Performing a similar, familiar setlist at Bamboozle (just a few months earlier), Weezer didn’t stray much from their core group of singles and live staples. Like Weezer’s set began at Bamboozle, things started with a brief introductory jam before the band kicked into “Hash Pipe”, setting the thousands of fans in attendance into a singalong frenzy. The quirky “Troublemaker” followed, keeping much of the crowd interested with its infectious chorus, but “Undone (The Sweater Song)” finally had everyone in attendance singing along to the ’90s radio hit: “If you want to destroy my sweater / hold this thread as I walk away”.
“Trippin’ Down the Freeway” included part of the rarely seen “Keep Fishin'” from Maladroit; the 2002 album also contributed “Dope Nose”, sung by bassist Scott Shriner. “Say it Ain’t So” was predictably massive, and “Island in the Sun” was transformed midsong from a solo Rivers Cuomo acoustic performance into a full-band jam. The instrumental “Brian’s Theme” lead into “Can’t Stop Partying”, showing off the band’s latest sarcastic offerings and commentary on modern pop music. “El Scorcho” was a pleasant surprise, though Pinkerton was criminally underrepresented in the eighteen-song set. Luckily, the band’s blue album contributed five cuts, including the energetic “My Name is Jonas” which went before the set-closing “Beverly Hills”.
Weezer’s encore began with the opening licks of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” before shifting gears and jumping into 2008’s “Pork and Beans”. A flat and unnecessary cover of MGMT’s “Kids” intertwined with Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” brought Weezer’s triumphant setlist crashing down, but luckily the excellent “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” from the band’s latest effort, Raditude, brought things back to life. As always, Weezer finished with “Buddy Holly”, and the Williamsburg crowd responded with roaring applause.
Undone (The Sweater Song)
Surf Wax America
Trippin’ Down the Freeway
Say It Ain’t So
Island in the Sun
Can’t Stop Partying
My Name is Jonas
Pork and Beans
Kids (MGMT cover)
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
Predictable yet solid, Weezer stuck primarily to their long-established setlist. Performing away from a nation-wide tour, the Brooklyn venue would have been a good chance to play a slightly different set, but the band opted to take the safe, well-traveled route instead. Thankfully, Weezer’s staples are overwhelmingly a collection of their top cuts, and songs like “Surf Wax America” are always a treat in a live environment. The California quartet is set to issue their eighth full-length, Hurley, on Epitaph Records in 2011 — Williamsburg Waterfront may have been the last performance of some lesser known songs as Weezer undoubtedly retools their setlist to make room for new material.