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Weezer, Manchester Academy

That it's been ten years since Weezer last graced Manchester is a fact not lost on tonight's crowd; the anticipation that bristles through the venue as the house lights dim is palpable. That this is only one of two shows the band are playing in the UK is a further fact not lost, with people coming from afar afield as Hamburg to see them, something which not just adds to tonight's expectations, but is also a testament to the devotion Weezer fans harbour.

Understandably, tonight's set is back-boned by material from their most recent record, and though both 'Do You Wanna Get High?' and 'King of the World' are met with a response that would lead one to assume they're staples of the Weezer setlist, other tracks taken from it fall flat in comparison. Arguably this can be attributed to the fact the record was released only two days prior, and as such remains largely unfamiliar.

Fortunately, the same can't be said for the more established tracks. An early pairing of 'My Name is Jonas' and 'Hash Pipe' tease the crowd with the classic material many have come to hear live for the first time, whilst 'Back to the Shack' reminds us just how far Weezer have come since their neurotic 1990s.

While it certainly seems that it's the band's more recent forays in to power-pop that feature predominantly tonight, The Blue Album is represented fairly thoroughly too. 'Say It Aint So' sees a discordant crowd yelling the eponymous line, whilst the set proper is closed out with a rousing rendition of 'Come Undone'.

Taking barely twenty seconds to reappear for an encore, the band launch straight in to 'Beverly Hills' – their most commercially successful track to date and arguably the one which earned them a new generation of fans. It's 'Buddy Holly' with which the band close the night however, a track that both older fans (of which there's an abundance tonight) and the newer set can appreciate equally.

Having been around for over 20 years, it's obvious that Weezer, at least as far as their live shows go, are at the very top of their game and show no sign of slipping. And while the almost record-like quality of some tracks feel a little too polished for live iterations, there's no denying that they're also one of the strongest live bands around.

 

 

 

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