As I walked up to Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, BC, I was shocked to see a lineup to the venue gates that disappeared over down the street. With minutes until doors were set to open, not a single person had been let in yet.
In speaking with staff and security and confused attendees, it seems like a change was made about an hour earlier that restricted back packs and water bottles from being brought in by guests. This meant that hundred and hundreds of eager fans had to leave the line to go to the box office and check their now-restricted items. People were upset, rightly so. Based on a few conversations it sounds like the change came from one of the bands on the bill. One can only guess as to what drove the change, but it would seem like a security measure. Possibly a threat to one of the bands that forced security to make a quick decision for the safety of the show.
After the chaos, we were lead like cattle through the gates. The beauty of the venue and the anticipation of the coming show quickly erased the previous from the minds of most.
First to the stage was Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and they wasted no time raising the spirits of those in attendance. Lead singer and pianist Andrew McMahon has a captivating aura about him. Each lyric seems to escape his lips as a big, contagious grin rolls across his face. He is a happy and expressive man that has an ability to stir up a crowd and keep them energized. McMahon jumped down off the stage at one point, and stood on the fence before the audience. It caused a frenzy of energy that carried through the rest of the set. The highlight song of the night was Cecilia And The Satellite, which Andrew says he wrote for his daughter Cecilia.
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Next up was Las Vegas pop-rock outfit Panic! At The Disco. This seemed like the band that harbored the most fanatical members of the audience. Looking out across the sea of people under the bright blue sky, you could make out signs and shirts and posters and merchandise of which the majority was for Panic. Once singer Brendon Urie took the stage and started the set off with Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time, a good portion of those near the front of the crowd sung in unison and began to lose their collective minds. It was intense to see that level of reaction.
Brendon is a truly beautiful band lead. He works the stage with a radiant confidence, and sultry inviting vocals. Thought a few of the band members have changed over time, Urie has manned the helm of the band since its inception, and for many he is Panic! At The Disco. His performance is sexual and intimate, at times the vocals seemed to channel a sort of Morrissey level drabness that just seemed so poetic. By the end of the presentation, Mr. Urie was shirtless and sweaty and smiling from ear to ear. This band has gotten better with age.
A real highlight of the night was when they covered Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, see fan-shot footage below.
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Panic! At The Disco set list Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time Vegas Lights The Ballad of Mona Lisa Hallelujah Time to Dance Emperor’s New Clothes Girls/Girls/Boys Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind) Nine in the Afternoon Crazy=Genius Miss Jackson Golden Days Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover) LA Devotee Death of a Bachelor I Write Sins Not Tragedies This is Gospel Victorious
As the sun began to set, Los Angeles nerd-rockers Weezer took over the stage. The backdrop of their set was a SoCal suburban summer scene, with street lights a beach-house like structure and strands of stringed-lights strewn from side to side. Rivers Cuomo commanded the center stage and lead the band through a bevy of hits from their multi-decade career. First up was California Kids, the titles track from the bands White album which was only released but a few months prior. It was surprising to see how many young people in the crowd were singing along. Heck I remember singing along to Weezer songs 20 years ago. It goes to show you just how on the ball they still are about creating good, widely palatable music to this day.
Watching Rivers and Patrick, on drums, and Brian, on guitar, and Scott, on bass, interact with each other on stage always makes me smile. They throw each other these looks that seem to say, “can you believe this?”, or something along those lines. It’s like they are still shocked to this day that crowds still scream and shout at the top of their lungs when Weezer performs for them. Or maybe I am just reading too much into it. Regardless, the band was on point. They put on tight, exhilarating set that had the masses dancing and singing the night away. The finally of the performance was capped off with Buddy Holly from the bands 1994 Blue album. As the song peaked, confetti canons coated the night sky with a kaleidoscope of colors.
Weezer set list California Kids Hash Pipe My Name Is Jonas (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To Pork and Beans I Love the USA Perfect Situation Thank God for Girls Beverly Hills Dope Nose / Back to the Shack / Keep Fishin’ / The Good Life / Surf Wax America Undone – The Sweater Song King of the World / Only in Dreams Island in the Sun Say It Ain’t So
Encore: Buddy Holly
Over the years I have seen Weezer many times, and they always deliver. They show up for the love of what they do, and for the fans, and they never half-ass it.
There is something about seeing them perform outdoors, with the cool summer breeze blowing through the evening air that just seems so right.
I would like to thank all three bands for delivering such solid sets. We all appreciate your hard work and look forward to seeing you the next time you come through town.
Take a peek at our full gallery of the show below.