Musician Rivers Cuomo of Weezer performing at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC on April 7th, 2019 © Jamie Taylor

Live Review: Weezer + Pixies @ Rogers Arena, Vancouver – April 7th 2019

As I walked around the concourse, sadly with little effort between sections, it made me frustrated that this show didn’t have better attendance. Both bands are considered indie gods according to online alternative press, the tickets were reasonably priced and the bands we hear today heavily reference both bands as being influential…so what am I missing here? Those who did attend looked as though they came straight out of a 90’s fashion catalogue, ready to relieve some of their own teen anthems.

This show was a proper double set with 75 minutes to an hour each (and some change).

The brief history of the Pixies is that they absolutely hate each other and that lack of chemistry and disconnect has always been awkwardly noticeable to the point where it made some in the audience unintentionally uninterested in what was happening on stage beyond the songs, therefore, when I heard that the Pixies replaced their original bassist, taking out the drama in the band, I was hopeful that I was going to finally experience the Pixies as I was initially meant to.

Musician Black Francis of Pixies performing at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC on April 7th, 2019 © Jamie Taylor

The minute the band opened with Cactus I knew that I was going to experience something completely different from their last theatre show. Admittedly during that song, I was remembering Bowie and his cover of that song. But then again I’ve been missing Bowie a lot lately.

The show was much better and the band looked healthier on stage in terms of their personal relationships which showed in how they delivered their material. I was relieved. Honestly, it’s one of the better Pixies shows that I’ve attended.

For the Pixies, their stage production was left to a bare minimum forcing their catalogue to drive most of the show. Unfortunately for me, the Pixies have a handful of great songs and a handful that aren’t memorable, however, tonight’s show made me appreciate some of the lesser tunes on another level. Of course, my favourite songs were elevated more due to a more positive band dynamic, especially Here Comes Your Man.

I walked away from the Pixies set with a desire to be reintroduced to their catalogue in a different light.

Weezer brought out more energy into their set. I was glad that I gave the band a second chance from an underwhelming show a few years ago at Deer Lake Park. It felt and sounded much better in an arena setting and the band were more into it.

American rock band Weezer performing at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC on April 7th, 2019 © Jamie Taylor

Another reason why this Weezer show was better than the Deer Lake Park engagement was that the show was in promotion of a sub-par album with new songs that took up most of the set list real estate. This setlist was a combination of their hits and some covers in celebration of their recent covers album titled Teal. The covers were so so, however, Weezer made them fun and engaged their audience into their world. I could tell that Rivers was smiling more while performing the covers than their own material. As a collective, it all blended together.

Their stage set had a minimal presentation, just like the Pixies, with the of a few fabric backdrops, one of which looked like the Happy Days set.

The band were extremely energetic and charismatic, Rivers’ vocals were in great shape as well.

The audience was more positively receptive during Weezer than with the Pixies. My inner 90’s child felt hugged with love like cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich.

Photos © Jamie Taylor // Cryptic Photography

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