Concert review: 01/23/1997 - Columbus Dispatch
Weezer breathlessly short of talent
By Bill Eichenberger
Dispatch Pop Music Critic
Imagine if Paul McCartney couldn't sing Imagine if George Harrison couldn't play the guitar. Imagine if Ringo Starr couldn't keep time (OK, he couldn't, but run with me here). You've just imagined Weezer, a band whose only positive attribute is its sophomoric sense of humor. I'm not sure if this qualifies as something positive, but it is also fun to say the band's name. Everyone say "Weezer." OK, now everyone make your voice go up as you say "WEEEEEEEEEEEE" and down as you say "zerrrrrrrrrr." Isn't that a blast? But seriously, folks ... Well, no, not seriously, since I didn't witness anything worth being serious about last night at WEEEEEEEEEEE-zerrrrrrr's sold-out concert in the Newport Music Hall. That's right — I said SOLD OUT. As in 1,700 fans, most of whom knew all the words to all the songs. As in 1,695 people who stood like statues throughout the show and five people — stationed strategically in the hall by the band? — who pogo-ed on rare, celebratory occasions. The band couldn't rock. The band had zero stage presence. The band couldn't pop. The band couldn't sing in tune. The band couldn't play much. Now, there have been many great bands in the history of rock 'n' roll who couldn't (or didn't) do one or two of the above. But it is an achievement of staggering proportions to do none of the above. We're talking about a band who never once inspired my toe to pay attention, let alone tap. So how did Weezer sell out the Newport Music Hall? That is one of the universe's great questions, ranking right up there with "Who built the pyramids?" "Why does lint make a beeline for our belly buttons?" and "How can Andre Rison consider himself the greatest wide-out in the NFL?" Of course, there are rock bands who transcend bad: There are evil rock bands. Weezer is not an evil rock band. They're not even particularly mean-spirited. They have a funny (or obnoxious, depending on your tastes) song called Pink Triangle, a song about a heterosexual man falling in love with a lesbian. "We were as good as married in my mind," sand Rivers Cuomo (great name, no?), "But married in my mind is no good." I suppose after the hyper-seriousness of bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, folks are ready for a little frivolity. Weezer fits the bill. But a band should offer something in addition to whimsy and a name that's fun to say. Shouldn't it? Shouldn't it?