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Live Review: Weezer

25/10/17, O2 Apollo

Touring with an unreleased album always carries an element of risk for a group, especially when their previous material is so well-loved. Weezer’s visit to Manchester was a clear demonstration of how it can be done well.

Rivers and co have a back-catalogue of hit-laden albums from which to draw, and the hardest decision must be which tracks to leave out of a gig. This is no more evident than when you consider two of their early songs at the Apollo (The World Has Turned and Left Me Here & In The Garage) hadn’t been played live since 2015.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, tracks from the group’s debut The Blue Album featured most heavily throughout the set alongside a handful from most of their other releases. It would have been nice to hear a few more tracks from The Red Album but nobody can deny they packed a lot into their set.

It wasn’t until the midpoint of the gig when they played songs from their new release Pacific Daydream but the assembled fans’ energy didn’t abate, a real seal of approval for their new material, as they sang back the lyrics to Thank God for Girls and Happy Hour.

Shortly afterward, Rivers Cuomo impressed the crowd with his humorous Liam Gallagher impression, zipping up his jacket and holding his hands behind his back as he sang the first few lines of Undone before a shortened cover of I Took a Pill in Ibiza that provided a calming segue into Island in the Sun.

The four-piece rounded out the gig with a feast of energy as they played Hashpipe, Beverley Hills (during which the frontman donned the now customary sombrero) and Say It Ain’t So. After such an animated show, it’s no surprise the crowd quickly called on the group for an encore and they did not disappoint. Coming back out with a powerful performance of Buddy Holly which had even those in the seats up and moving, Weezer sent the Manchester public home more than happy and, thanks to some canons, covered in confetti.

Fans will be pleased to hear that, despite their age, Weezer still know how to put on a proper rock show and, as they announced on Wednesday evening, they are now planning to make the UK a regular fixture in their yearly tour dates.

8/10

Tags: academy, weezer

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