Weezer Barely Gets Feedback-Spewing Alterna-Rock Spaceship Off Ground

Weezer’s Central Park Summerstage benefit Saturday looked like the MTV Beach House: Kennedy threatened to drop in at any minute on the frolicking throngs of baby-dolled and beatnicked kids at Rumsey Playfield. Little wonder Rivers Cuomo almost failed to get his feedback-spewing alterna-rock spaceship off the ground.

Plodding lethargically through “In The Garage,” “Say It Ain’t So,” and “My Name Is Jonas” with mock Spinal Tap grandiocity, Weezer was forced to wait out a melee of crushed teens below. Bassist Matt Sharp rumbled impatiently as security plucked bodies from the barricades.

Pausing to survey the canyon of lights downtown, Cuomo mopped his brow and lep caustically into the the bands new spaced-out romp, “Get You,” stomping through the AC/DC refrains with faux-rock appeal.

Cuomo mumbled his way through the ubiquitous “Undone (The Sweater Song)” before guiding the band’s distort-pop frenzy into the trippy dischord of “Only In Dreams.”

But it was “Buddy Holly” — Weezer’s Buzz Binned uber-hit, that finally launched the performance. With an energy previously leashed, the band shouted emphatically, “I don’t care about that!” before traipsing offstage encoreless.

Glascow’s Teenage Fanclub opened with a bristling set of post-Pet Sounds pop, throbbing with self-depricating wit and enough tremelo to satiate any Melrose watcher. The band’s roaring, Mark Stimson-esque guitar vamping and Brian Wilson-on-Thorazine harmonies put and edgy twist on Grand Prix’s “Sparky Dream” and “About You.”

Closing with their 1991 breakthrough “The Concept,” Teenage Fanclub whipped the mall rats into a t-shirt buying riot before inviting everyone back to their hotel for drinks. “Tell them teenage Fanclub said it was o.k.,” singer Norman Blake laughed.

And it was.

This interview first appeared on Rolling Stone Online

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