Monday, December 27, 2010

FREE ENERGY @ Orpheum !!

Boston's Orpheum Theatre, a mass expanse of cramped seats held together by big name acts and their most recent paint job, is hardly the easiest place to pull concert-goers out of their chairs, but Free Energy hardly let them sit down, pulling out all the stops in their opening slot. Having headlined medium sized venues and cropping up in a slew of festivals, Free Energy was more than qualified in jumping on tour with a seasoned, big-name veteran. Thus, Weezer's Memories tour seems to be the perfect slot. Here I had wondered how Free Energy would fair, thinking it implausible that any band could capture the attention of the room's ripening 90’s alternative rockers, newly collegiate hipsters, and the parents with kids not yet conceived by Pinkerton's, well, conception. However, with Free Energy's energetic stage presence and an upbeat pop-rock aesthetic, even the most jaded of the original Pinkerton conosurs found themselves bopping along one song deep.  
    This being their second night confronting Weezer ultra-fans, Free Energy saddled in again and proved their ability to entertain. Drawing from their latest album, Stuck on Nothing, songs like "Bad Stuff," "Bang Pop" and "Hope Child," they received a standing applause from a deservedly pumped up crowd.

    If the audience had had room to squirm in the Orpheum's rows, I could probably gauge the crowds excitement with a shade more confidence but the energy was palpable, rising whenever Rivers Cuomo opened his mouth. Navigating through Weezer's discography and climbing over seats to get there, frontman Cuomo could not stay put. Moving through the night's set list, Cuomo found himself treading on audience territory where his attention was just enough to keep the mellow crowd rising. All this before even rolling out the main attraction, Pinkerton (1996), the once black sheep of the Weezer catalog, in it's entirety,
    The Memories tour was true to its word with an intermission turned throwback fit for grade school graduation, featuring graphics and photos of the early days of the pre-rock stars. Though the band is considerably older and distinctively wiser, their performance proved that no matter what age, experience, or genre you catch them in, Weezer is still Weezer. Their turn to more synthetic and production-heavy tracks hasn't taken much away. In apologetically (and with nerdy intentions in) utilizing new technologies, Weezer's attitude is still that of their early years. You have to give it up to them- they're still those quirky outsiders who can make a pariah album and still come out on top. Let's see how we feel at the re-release, shall we? -Montana H. 

Weezer Setlist: Memories, Pork and Beans, Greatest Man That Ever Lived, Perfect Situation,Dope Nose, Island in the Sun, Hash Pipe, You Gave Your Love to Me Softly, Suzanne, Only In Dreams, Pinkerton

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