Venue: Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore
Date: 15th August 2016
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: Maisha G.
Special Thanks: The LAMC Productions team
I grew up mostly listening to glam metal and rock and roll with the occasional blues from time to time following in my father’s lead. Even so, I was always curious to know what kind of music my sister listens to. I remember fumbling on the words to “About a Girl” by Nirvana when I was about five, and I remember seeing my sister playing this particular CD with an all blue cover with four guys standing in a line (The Blue Album). When I learned to read better and make out the words, I also learned to enjoy the song “Say It Ain’t So” at the age of seven and soon came to know the name of the band – Weezer. I enjoy the fuzzy distortions that rang through the small bookshelf speakers from home and I remember staring at the player the whole time and just soaking in the songs from the first track all the way to the last one.
I was having prata with a friend of mine on a Friday night when she grabbed my hands and said “DUDE, WEEZER IS COMING TO SINGAPORE” and I was going in for another spoonful of crispy goodness but stuck in midair due to the overwhelming shock and internal screaming, as I pulled the glass of teh ice to my mouth to calm myself down. Then and there, the sudden gush of memories, the times I spent listening to the Blue Album instead of trying to learn Multiplication and Division when I sang the song “Buddy Holly” each time I heard “Rave On!” by Buddy Holly come on the radio and its clashplosion of good memoirs. Now, 22 years later and set to grace our little read dot for the very first time, I told her “YEAH MAN, YEAH” and she understood my gusto then and there that we’ll be there to see Rivers and the gents grace the night.
The venue was filling up as early as 5.30pm as I looked around to see eager faces and people speaking in different languages. I came across tweets prior to show day that there were people from other Asian countries flying over to watch Weezer live in Singapore, talk about dedication (guilty as charged). The crowd were not the usual kind that I see at the past shows; instead, I see people whom I made wild guesses are as young as my eldest sister (who is about 10 years older than I am) clad in Weezer shirts forming the snaking line outside, awaiting for the doors to be opened.
I was seated fairly close to the stage in the middle and I told myself, this is a brilliant view and I hope for the sound to be as grand as many other shows I’ve been to at Suntec. I must admit though as much as I was pretty psyched for the show, I haven’t given much attention to their recently released ‘The White Album’ which dropped earlier this year in April. I checked out a few of the songs but only grew fond of a particular one titled “Thank God For Girls’”. I was slightly worried that the night’s set would consist of mainly the songs off the recent album but I’m sure I’ll be surprised.
The set started off with “California Kids”, the first track from their latest record. The backdrop visuals accompaying their performance were interesting. I was squinting my eyes to focus my view on Rivers and was telling myself at the same time “Who’d ever thought I’d get to see them live here without having to travel to LA?” and was all smiles to myself as I bopped to the beat of the song. The next song pique my attention as the familiar tunes rang across the hall. The guitars’ distortion were pretty massive and I was staying focused to ensure that they were playing “Hash Pipe” and I knew then it was when the crowd roared to the familiarity. From where I was, I could see a wave of people swaying and some held their phones in the air to not miss a second of the show. I was just in my own zone, singing to myself.
The next song on the bill got my ears’ attention at the very first strum and the surge of 1997 came flowing like a strong-current river (pun intended); I still remember it being the first track of their debut album titled “My Name Is Jonas”. My sister had this song as her ringtone in Midi Tone then and I could never shake off that 8-bit sounding version of it. As much as no justice was made to the actual song, it was a constant reminder of how much Weezer was a big part of her growing up and being able to share it with her meant so much more.
“Pork and Beans” got the fans instantaneously wild and you can hear every single word of the lyrics to the song sang by the crowd in unison as Rivers pointed the microphone towards them. His quirky stage antics – when he got off the stage and ran up the seated area, just sends warm cheers to my heart as I froze in my position thinking how could I be so lucky to be this close to Rivers. I was just smiling a lot to myself, surpassing the ‘idiot level’ altogether.
I found myself dancing on my seat as Rivers crooned to “Thank God For Girls” which is an amazing song, a true depiction of the utmost appreciation for women as the background visuals showcase the many amazing women of today and not in a sexist way (far from it) but a rather alternative take on a quirky side of Rivers as he shows his appreciation for the goddesses in his own manner.
“Beverly Hills” took my mind for a spin as I recalled having to listen to my friends jamming to this song and one of them exclaimed “OMG I didn’t think that they’d play this song. I used to jam to this song a lot.” Those were the days before “Seven Nation Army” came into light and we were all very grunge and edgy and Eddie Vedder was literally our Saviour then (he still is the Better Man – again, pun intended). The visuals for that particular tune takes you literally on a visual trip down Beverly Hills and it was such a peaceful yet lasting memory that is etched in my mind.
The night went into a crazy stance of the Medley and “Undone”. I was blown away by their ability for the time signature change as they interchange songs within seconds and then I think again, they’ve been doing this ever since I learned how to walk so it is no surprise. The lights dimmed and I saw the visuals changing and I listened to Rivers saying “Singapore is like a island in the sun” and the crowd cheered because we knew exactly what song they were playing next. They wore the flower garlands around their necks as Rivers sang, “When you’re on a holiday, you can’t find the words to say” I was mouthing each and every word. Rivers pointed the microphone to the crowd and they sang in unison, in tempo and it felt like a theatrical choir atmosphere where no ones messes up a note. I personally took a liking for the music video to this song because of the baby animals!
“King of The World” was from the group’s latest album and Rivers was parading on stage with a crown on his head and a velvet cape with the Weezer logo on it. It had a very catchy and rather a poppy touch to it as opposed to their other work in the older albums, but it’s one which you can appreciate.
“Say It Ain’t So woaaah woaah” as I sang my heart out, reminiscing my seven year old self when I barely know how to pronounce the words proper but the music got me in tune and I could feel my heart being so light; the worries and the weight on my shoulders were lifted. I was seven again for that moment and I embraced and relished the seconds as it ticks with the song. It was a flush of memories and my heart was swelling. We call for an encore because it won’t be quite complete without “Buddy Holly”. Rivers got on the keyboard and punched the notes to Fun’s “We Are Young” and sang the chorus as he coerced the crowd to join him in the stage banter. And soon enough, we were gifted the song as the closure for the night and the crowd ran wild. Halfway through “Buddy Holly”, the barricades were adjusted so the crowd in the seating area dashed into the standing pen and danced their hearts out. I’d do the same but I was enjoying the music from where I was and not wanting to move an inch so I could soak in all the greatness.
It was quite an unexpected short set for the night but I felt blessed to have had the chance to watch them in my own home country and to watch it on my sister’s behalf because of her work commitments. Thank you LAMC for bringing the grunge alternative edge to the many that have long missed the good old music of yesteryears.