Last week saw the release of Weezer’s latest self titled album, and I was able to attend a few shows in New York to celebrate!
The first show I attended as at the Warsaw in Brooklyn. It’s a very small venue that probably holds less than 1000 people. I arrived around 5pm, two hours before doors opened, because I heard that Weezer fan club members would get early entry. A lot of fans were already in line, and dressed in white for the White album. I joined in by wearing a cardigan and necktie. It’s similar to what was worn in the Buddy Holly music video, but it was white and light grey.
Even though I wore a sweater, it wasn’t enough as it got colder and windier. By the time the line started moving, I was literally shivering. It turned out that “early entry” only happened a few minutes before 7pm.
The Warsaw was truly a Polish venue. The servers had Polish accents, and sold kielbasa and pierogies. After a beer and kielbasa sandwich, I checked out the merch stand, and bought a t-shirt that featured the bridge to “L.A. Girlz”.
Like most concerts, music was playing in the venue before the show started. As that was happening, a DJ got on stage. He opened up his laptop, and music continued to play. It took three or so songs for me to realize that he was the opening act. At first, I thought he was a crew member checking equipment. The lights were still dim the whole time. Oddly enough, the music didn’t sound any different from what was playing before he got on stage. It didn’t even sound remixed. Silly me!
Weezer finally hit the stage around 9. They started off with track 1, “California Kids”. From there, I thought they would play the whole album, but they went with a bunch of favorites like “My Name is Jonas”, and “Hash Pipe”. They even did some songs from the last album, like “The British Are Coming”, which I haven’t listened to in a while. They also played the b-side “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly” with Brian Bell singing. Eventually, they played all five previously released songs from the new album, but I was hoping they would play more. I hope they play some of the newer songs on tour this summer, especially now that the fans have listened to the album.
After the show, and hanging out with some friends afterwards, I didn’t sleep much that night. That’s because I got up early to get in the standby line for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I got to NBC Studios just after 6am. I immediately did a head count of who was in front of me. I was 18th in line. The family in front of me attended the day before, and said they let 44 standbys in that day. This wasn’t the first time I stood in the Tonight Show standby line. I did so in 2014, and I got in with the first 25. So I felt good about my chances this day. After a few hours in the morning cold, I got my ticket at 9am.
Later that day, Weezer’s historian/webmaster Karl gave away four Tonight Show tickets on Facebook. I was too late to get in on it, so my chances to get in just got lowered by four. I still felt good though! At about 3:30pm, I checked in at the NBC store, and stood in yet another line. As I waited, the ushers worked on the number of standby ticket holders to let in. At first the line was cut to about 60, and then 35, and finally to 28. So I got in with no problem. After the security check, we were brought to a lounge upstairs for more waiting. It looked like a night club with the lights turned on. It was nice, but pictures were not allowed to be taken.
Here’s the video of Weezer performing “King of the World” on the show. I sat in the very last row, and had a great view for the whole thing. Along with seeing Rivers dressed like Elvis, it was cool to see P. Diddy on the show. Also during a commercial break, Taylor Lautner slipped and fell on his back, but then he flipped back up immediately. At the end, Jimmy Fallon ran through the crowd. I was hoping to get to see myself on tv, but that part didn’t make it to air.
The next day, Weezer held a signing and an acoustic concert at the Rough Trade record store in Brooklyn. Starting at 11am, you had to buy an album and you’d get a wristband for the event later that day. There were only about 250 wristbands available. I arrived at 8:30am, and there were just over 100 people in line ahead of me. Once again, I was in good shape! I was glad that they sold vinyl records at the store. I picked one up to get signed later. They only performed five songs at the acoustic concert. Four were from the new album, and they also played “Slave” from Maladroit, which blew my mind. For years, I was convinced that Rivers didn’t like singing Maladroit songs. Even the hits off that album were sung live by Brian or Scott. Kinda crazy how that one song really made my week.
After the signing, I boarded a train and headed home. After three days filled with wristbands and waiting in lines, my Weezer adventure was over. I was one of only four people to see Weezer at all three of those shows. I was really glad to see some old friends and meet new ones! I can’t wait to see them on tour this July. The band’s YouTube recently put out a video about their release week. I immediately saw myself at 3:06 in the lower left hand corner…