Photos and Review by Emily Gringorten
Weezer brought their Indie Rock Road Trip Tour to a sold out Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA on 8/24. Openers White Reaper and Spoon kicked off the night before the iconic four piece band, made up of frontman Rivers Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell, drummer Patrick Wilson, and bassist Scott Shriner, took the stage a little past 8:30.
Leaning into the road-trip theme, a dramatic curtain drop revealed an impressive stage setup that looked like a gigantic car dashboard, complete with a steering wheel embellished with the classic “W” logo and a rearview mirror screen that reflected the crowd. After the drop, they started strong with “My Name is Jonas” followed by “Beverly Hills,” which had the crowd screaming every word. The setlist was comprehensive, hitting the classic bangers like “Say It Ain’t So” and “Island in the Sun,” along with some deeper cuts, including the 8 minute long “Only in Dreams.”
Channeling his “dad energy,” Cuomo told some stories. He told us about how the band played pickleball the previous day, guitars versus rhythm section. We also heard about the kind label executive who was the namesake for the song “Susanne” before he played a solo acoustic rendition. He even snapped a handful of photos of the crowd on his polaroid. Whether it was a bit or not, the crowd clearly ate it up. At one point he even exclaimed “I’m feeling myself!”
Highlights for me included a special guest appearance from Berkeley resident Toro y Moi, who joined the band onstage during “Undone – The Sweater Song.” I also loved the colorful and sometimes psychedelic visuals that accompanied their set design, showcasing the journey ahead through the windshield on this epic road trip. It was honestly heartwarming to hear 8,500 fans of all ages (plus about 100 more standing in the parking lot) singing their hearts out to the set closer “Buddy Holly.”
Going into this show, I honestly didn’t know a lot about Weezer and had no idea what to expect. It’s clear to me now that they “don’t give a hoot about what you think” and it’s definitely working for them, and that these guys are here to stay.