Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Thursday night’s Weezer show started with the band peeking out from behind a curtain, donned in barber shop garb, to sing an a capella version of 2008’s “Pork and Beans.”

Yes, Weezer went barber shop. And that’s just how the night started.

Sometimes campy, fully entertaining and irresistibly catchy, Weezer returned to Des Moines, playing the band’s second show in Iowa’s capital city and first since headlining 80/35 Music Festival in 2015.

A co-headlining tour with the Pixies that brought roughly 8,000 to Wells Fargo Arena, Weezer played Des Moines in support of two 2019 releases: A collection of covers, coined “Weezer (The Teal Album)” and “Weezer (The Black Album), the outfit’s 13th studio effort.

Here’s what we saw inside the week’s biggest rock show.

Where is my Pixies?

Playing ahead of Weezer, 1980s alt-rock tastemaker the Pixies picked up where it left off last July in Des Moines by powering through a 22-song set in about 80 minutes.

Fronted by tenured songwriter Black Francis, the Boston band dished to Iowans eerie howls with the quintessential “Where Is My Mind,” fist-pumping pseudo-punk with “Vamos” and a downright sing-along with set closer, “Gigantic.” The band bookmarked its dives into recited 1980s and 1990s cuts with (presumably) new tracks, set to be released later this year.

Opting not to address the crowd (that’s zero words said to an Iowa audience for the 62 songs performed songs here in the last year), Francis kept the band moving at a lightning speed expected from the group. 

Still, when watching the Pixies consecutively roll through “Gouge Away,” “Hey” and “Mr. Grieves,” concertgoers can’t be too concerned with anything except what comes next (Spoiler: It was “Caribou”).

English post-rock act Basement preceded the Pixies, offering a half-hour of appropriately punk-tinged riffs. 

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Inside the Weezer-verse

Power chords and pop hooks replaced brooding growls as Weezer took stage (following "Pork and Beans") to confetti canons and crowd-led chants of "Woo-ee-oo, I look just like Buddy Holly." 

The four-piece guitar pop outfit rolled through two-and-a-half decades of the Weezer-verse, treating its audience with pyrotechnics, trips through the crowd on a mobile boat and a backdrop channeling your parents' garage in the 1980s — complete with Kiss and AC/DC posters. 

On stage, frontman Rivers Cuomo bounced between band members for nearly all of the 80-minute performance, a conductor to each booming chorus. 

"Time to kick this show into heavy rock mode," Cuomo, ahead of "Hash Pipe," quipped. "You guys ready to mosh?" 

And, yes, the set leaned heavily on "Teal" material: Black Sabbath, Tears for Fears and Toto's "Africa" all made appearances. Still, it didn't feel derivative because Weezer's uncanny quirk makes it fun; someone doesn't buy a Weezer ticket to hear "No Scrubs," but it's a bonus. 

Beyond 'Africa'

Toto or not, Weezer jams drove the 20-song set. The band balanced radio favorites ("My Name Is Jonas," "Buddy Holly") with a few trips off the beaten path (1996's "The Good Life"). 

► Be first to know the coolest things in Des Moines.Get entertainment news in your inbox each week.

Cuomo sent onlookers into frenzy with an acoustic take on "If You’re Wondering If I Want You To" and kept new original material to a minimum, playing one track off "The Black Album."  

"Nothing but good vibes from here on out," Cuomo said. "You’ve been touched by the Weezer magic." 

Weezer closed the night with 2005's "Beverly Hills," returning for a one-two encore of 1994 deep cut "Surf Wax America" and inescapable anthem "Say It Ain't So." The band shot off t-shirt canons (because, Weezer), bowed and departed — leaving a few onlookers asking for one more taste of the enjoyment brought with each song before. 

Weezer setlist 

Pork and Beans (barber shop quartet) 
Buddy Holly 
My Name Is Jonas 
Africa (Toto) 
The Good Life 
Undone - The Sweater Song 
Island in the Sun 
Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Tears For Fears) 
Can't Knock The Hustle 
Paranoid (Black Sabbath) 
If You’re Wondering If I Want You To (acoustic) 
Take On Me (a-ha, acoustic) 
Hash Pipe 
Perfect Situation 
Troublemaker 
No Scrubs (TLC) 
Pork and Beans 
Beverly Hills 
Encore: 
Surf Wax America 
Say It Ain't So 

 

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/03/28/weezer-pixies-review-des-moines-wells-fargo-arena-teal-album-africa-black-album/3305168002/