Waiting in the will-call line for my ticket to the Weezer show I overheard a fellow fan’s conundrum: “Mike from the fourth floor offered me $500.” Her friend replied, ” I was offered box seats to the Sox versus Yankees next season.” When Weezer stops through Boston, it’s typically a hot ticket. Being at The Sinclair—a 525 capacity joint that, no surprise, sold-out—and holding tickets for Sunday night’s intimate show could have landed you in a Shriner’s hospital.
Fresh off the release of their ninth album Everything Will Be Alright in the End, Cambridge, MA was Weezer’s second stop in a small club show tour in which they’re playing the new album in its entirety. The set opened warmly and stripped down. House lights remained on as Rivers Cuomo sheepishly approached the mic solo, singing hello, and strumming an acoustic intro that transitioned into “You Gave Me Your Love Softly.” With a satisfied smirk, he introduced guitarist (and possible Wes Anderson character-double) Brian Bell. “Ready to rock one?” Rivers asked. The two harmonized through “Why Bother,” and with each successive song, a band member joined them onstage. Pat Wilson drummed a lean, upright kit, and bassist Scott Shriner wearing an arm cast, defied his body’s woes, and played on smuggly. That’s rock and roll.
The nine song acoustic opener stood out as a catharsis with some weighty tracks from Pinkerton—fitting given Rivers wrote them after the blue album while attending Harvard University and struggling through experimental monkshood. He called out his old Cabot House on campus and offered folks to visit his old apartment at 19 Corporal Burns Road. “I’m sure the current residents would love it,” he joked.
Following the lean, acoustic set, the band stormed back on stage to transition into their electric vigor with the new album’s 1st track, “Ain’t Got Nobody.” The album hasn’t even been out a month, yet Everything Will Be Alright in the End had hundreds singing along to the fun singles “Back to the Shack” and “Cleopatra.” A fully assembled fan-chorus backed them up on stage for “Foolish Father” in purple, gospel-Weezer robes. Rivers progressively got more and more invigorated by the sincere environment, wearing a “W” cape and hollering, “I love this … so much fun!” Shriner brought out a see-through, double-neck guitar to further amplify the kitschy ambiance. It became apparent that many of these new tracks will fit seamlessly with Weezer’s hits as they encored with “Surf Wax America” from the blue album, a 20-year-old, still beloved EP. If you nab a ticket next time around, no amount of bribery will change that.