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Weezer at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest- Ottawa Review

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Who: Weezer

From: Los Angeles, California

Where: Bell Stage, RBC Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa

When: July 10th 2013

TOTAL SCORE: 9/10

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Style: The perfect marriage of the classic rock star and the quintessential geek. As front man Rivers Cuomo dubbed it, “simple good-time alternative rock from California.”

Crowd: The fairgrounds were flooded as a sea of people flocked to the Bell Stage for Weezer’s set. Simply put by the drunken girls screaming in front of me, “Everybody loves Weezer!” Even if you’re not one of their many cult followers, everybody knows the words to at least one song. The crowd was more than riled when they kicked off the set with “My Name is Jonas” followed by the particularly heavy and delightful “Hash Pipe.” “We come from the planet Weezer,” Cuomo played with the crowd. “On planet Weezer… It’s like were all on drugs!” As the crowd erupted, joints were sparked, and smoke rolled in the air as the light show all of a sudden got a whole lot more impressive.

Technicalities: The four Californians danced around on stage as they played some of the same songs they have been for 20 years. A practiced perfection of the art of stage presence and crowd banter were evident in every move. Both guitarist Brian Bell and bassist Scott Shriner also took turns singing, further proving their musical worth. From the spectacular light show to the hit songs, Weezer played in the manner that made them famous and it did not disappoint.

Sex Appeal: Weezer’s iconic style of horn rimmed glasses and rock ‘n’ roll riffs can’t be beat. The innocence and goofiness allow you to sing along full heartedly to songs like “Beverly Hills” and not even question the irony. The ageless rock stars have kept with the times as their setlist incorporated a full spectrum of their sound, from the early grungier songs to the more pop-oriented new tunes, for both young and old fans to enjoy.

Memorable moment: The whole set was really a memorable moment, from Cuomo’s Mariah Carey impression to his dueling guitar solos with Bell. The mass of people attracted swarms of bugs that hung over the crowd shining in the light like glitter. Cuomo joked about “the locust” as he picked one up and put it in the camera lens for it to be displayed in detail on the huge screens skirting the stage. Always groovy, another highlight was when Bell busted out the talk box for the crowd-pleasing guitar solo in “Beverly Hills.”

Overall: Weezer has been rockin’ their tunes and style for over 20 years. Started in Los Angeles in 1992, they instantly found a spot for themselves in the music industry and in their listeners’ Walkmans. Their performance at Bluesfest was undoubtedly the best of the day, and Ottawa drank up every second of their energetic, fun performance. Their transitions between songs were just cheesy enough to be funny and their sound was sensational. After the second encore of “Undone- The Sweater Song” the set culminated with all the members crowding around drummer Patrick Wilson with sticks to simultaneously beat away at his kit for one final, show-stopping drum solo. As beach balls and kids surfed the crowd, Weezer made sure that everyone was singing along.

Review by Griffin Elliott

Photos by Marc DesRosiers/RBC Bluesfest Press Images

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