More unexpected was the preface to Weezer's appearance: a video hosted by guitarist Brian Bell in which he introduced fans to various Denver landmarks, as if they were unfamiliar with them. Still, his deadpan delivery of random factoids, like how he bought some money at the Denver Mint, paved the way for a set far more successful than at a headlining gig last October that found Blink's DeLonge second on the bill
; he was riding astride the unbelievable dreadful Angels & Airwaves at the time. Back then, Weezer was promoting its most recent self-titled album, which featured only a couple of decent tunes, with several of those that didn't pass muster warbled by other bandmembers. Now, however, that platter is part of the act's past, allowing main man Rivers Cuomo to incorporate its highlights into a greatest-hits playlist that induced grins from first note to last.
Clad, like Bell and company, in a white laboratory jumpsuit, Cuomo looked more than ever like Rick Moranis before he either shrunk or blew up the kids, and he played his persona for maximum irony, declaring before "Pork and Beans" that "this is what the kids call 'the emo.'" Still, when Cuomo delivered a crack about "arena rock" while leading the mob in side-to-side arm-waving during "Undone (The Sweater Song)," the line cut both ways. Yes, the spectacle was stereotypical, but it was also hugely enjoyable, especially in tandem with one of the '90s more memorable tracks. Likewise, "Island in the Sun," which Cuomo began by setting up loops on drums, bass and guitar and performing solo, was both a mad-scientist stunt and a self-deprecating comment about how simple that tune, and pop music in general, can be. Nonetheless, the performance was somehow both amusing and intriguing -- a tough balance to strike.
True, today's Weezer is an overt goof: Why else would Cuomo and company take the stage to the 20th Century Fox fanfare before opening with Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and closing with the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" -- after which they left? In the end, though, the gags enhanced the music, and vice versa.