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Weezer’s music isn’t what it once was, but the live show’s still fun

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Weezer
Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Weezer

October 1, Bare Pool
Three stars
From the Archives
Weezer’s Hurley is pretty coldly calculated (9/15/10)

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Weezer—each album since 1996’s iconic Pinkerton has arguably been worse than its predecessor, and even a kinda cool idea like putting Lost’s Jorge Garcia on the cover of latest disc Hurley is rendered void when you learn Weezer also has sponsorship with Hurley, the clothing brand. Sellouts. Still, when Rivers Cuomo hops off a stage to perform inside a discarded-towel bin, atop a bar and sitting on a VIP couch—as he did Friday night at the Mirage’s Bare Pool—it’s easy for me to forgive years of missteps. Random, free-spirited dorkiness always rules.

Do I wish the stunt had intro-ed into “The Good Life” rather than the sugary “Beverly Hills”? Of course. But if you can stomach the pre-packaged, radio-friendly nerd rock of their post-Pinkerton albums—and I can, mostly—there was still a lot to like. The boys were en pointe musically, engaging the audience and throwing in some fun surprises—like ending the set with a cover of Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” that had the entire group banging on the same drum set. (My date aptly called this “Nerd Man Group.”) Has Weezer phoned it in for its recent recordings? Absolutely. But at least the band still brings everything it’s got to the stage.

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