Weezer Brings A Highly Memorable Road Trip To CMAC

Concert Review
Canandaigua, NY
Monday July 3, 2023
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

Weezer brought their Indie Rock Road Trip tour to CMAC Monday evening. The early afternoon rain may have dampened the ground but after it had subsided it resulted in a great walk up at the box office. The crowd of just under 10,000 were able to witness first hand the draw and power of Weezer. Formed in Los Angeles in 1992, the band has now amassed a catalog of songs now standing just a shade under 500. The band’s first five studio albums were certified platinum with the exception of Maladroit which reached gold. During their 90-minute set they managed to work in their standards as well as a few rare tunes.

The band had the crowd in the palm of their hands right from the first song of the evening with “My Name Is Jonas”. They followed by kicking right into the band’s lone top-40 Billboard hit “Beverly Hills” which helped accentuate the intended journey in which the band had in mind for this tour. Leader Rivers Cuomo’s vision for the tour was to make it feel like a road trip as the stage was decked out to resemble a car dashboard complete with a big steering wheel, complete with an old school FM radio/cassette deck with push buttons. At one point Cuomo brought out a Polaroid to take the official “family” photo of the road trip.

You either get the band or you don’t it’s that simple. Cuomo has a knack for writing memorable songs that stick in your head. Many of those delicacies such as “Pork and Beans”, “El Scorcho” and the tropical “Island in the Sun” were served up and the crowd ate them up. So far every show on tour has also featured a rare or never played song. Tonight was no exception as “I’m Just Being Honest”, a Rivers Cuomo solo song was played.

The main set ended with the energetic “Hash Pipe” before the band closed it with “Thank You and Good Night”. Back for an encore which ended with the song that put the band on the map, “Buddy Holly” was a fine way to bring the proceedings to an end. Weezer came out right in the middle of the grunge era. While they were played on the same stations of many of those grunge bands, they are more like the 1990’s version of Cheap Trick than anything else. They can belt out a catchy three minute ditty then rock out with the best of them as evident throughout the night. At this stage the ability to stay together for so long has been the key. Bassist Scott Shriner was the last to join back in 2001. Drummer Patrick Wilson (Clarence, NY native) has been around since the start of the band. Guitarist Brian Bell joined during the recording of the debut and has been there ever since. Bell and Cuomo have a great chemistry as evidenced by their trading off of licks all night long.

Those on the fence about seeing Weezer in concert need to just do it. The band has a energetic but unique style that really goes over well and their songs sound fantastic live. CMAC has now played host to Weezer three times and every show has been solid. The Indie Rock Road Trip has brought Weezer to an interesting point of their career. With the thirtieth anniversary of the storied debut set to take place next year it will be very intriguing to see what the band has planned.

Set List

My Name Is Jonas
Beverly Hills
Return to Ithaka
The Good Life
Pork and Beans
Pink Triangle
El Scorcho
You Gave Your Love to Me Softly
Blast Off!
Undone – The Sweater Song
I’m Just Being Honest
Susanne (Acoustic)
Only in Dreams
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
Island in the Sun
Perfect Situation
All My Favorite Songs
Say It Ain’t So
Run, Raven, Run
Hash Pipe
Thank You and Good Night

The Waste Land
Surf Wax America
Buddy Holly


About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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