by Sir John Reid Hatchporch
This was written when I was a bright-eyed college student. In those days, following a concert, I would force myself to stay up all night until my review was done. These "reviews" were always exhaustive, covering every nuance of the show as well as every song played and any memorable comments I could remember. More importantly, the tone often lapsed into what one might deem "fanboydom." I apologize in advance for any embarrassing, hyperbolic statements made over the course of this review but have decided to keep the review up as is for posterity. This was a very emotional night for all involved and I hope that this review will do the show--and the Allen family--some tiny bit of justice. Enjoy.
I missed the opening band: Black Market Flowers. I'd never heard of them and I heard tell that they weren't very good anyway. That Dog, however, was VERY good! THEY ROCK LIVE...much harder than their albums! Always cool to see a violinist (Petra Haden) on stage. Their harmonies were even really tight, though for the first few numbers you really couldn't hear them. I think someone finally got the hint to turn up the vocal mikes. They played alot of songs from their new album "Retreat From The Sun" and two from their last album "Totally Crushed Out". I already had "Retreat From The Sun", but now I'm inspired to go get their first two CD's.
Now, on to Weezer.
These guys are one of my absolute favorite bands--I own everything they've done--yet I'd never seen them live. Needless to say, I was definitely pumped. The break after That Dog's set seemed to last an eternity, and caused the whole audience to start chanting "Weezer! Weezer!".
The first thing that caught my eye before the band even came out was when the huge Weezer logo made out of light bulbs was unveiled. The whole crowd cheered when they saw it! And any band that comes out to the sounds of the theme from the game show "Family Feud" blaring in the background is just too cool. (They've used "Magnum P.I." too). Bassist Matt Sharp was obviously a little tipsy (and even made comment about it later on in the show--this state also resulted in a couple of minor bass flubs during the evening). What a character! From the beginning he was hooting and hollering. "We're gonna have a f***ing good time 'cause that's what we're here for, right?" he said before they had even begun. Then the familiar intro to "My Name Is Jonas" started up and from that moment on the band was four on the floor, pedal to the metal...TOTALLY ROCKIN'!!! I can't say I was really surprised though.
Then, without flinching, they launched into the fabulous "Getchoo" from "Pinkerton". Next up was "No One Else" from the first record. Before playing "Suzanne"--one of their finest b-sides, from "Undone"--Matt Sharp declared "I am too drunk to play this next one. We don't do it alot either". Well, it does have one of the more complex bass lines of Weezer's repertoire. It rocked, regardless. The finishing line "you're all that I wanted..." is normally followed by a complete pause before the line is finished with "...of a girl" and the instruments come back in. But tonight, Mr. Sharp yelled "WOOOOOOOOOOOOO" at the top of his lungs during the normally silent few seconds. Hilarious.
The guys appeared to be having a great time, despite the fact that it was a benefit for the deaths of their good friends Mykel, Carli and Trysta Allan. (For those of you who don't know, Mykel and Carli led the Weezer and Rentals fan clubs and were friends of the band. They were incredibly devoted, helpful friendly people. They died in a car accident, on the way home from a Weezer show). They were all in good, festive spirits, especially Matt Sharp and guitarist Brian Bell--moving about the stage, jumping up and down and making silly faces and wisecracks to the crowd. Matt Sharp especially is quite the crowd worker, often playing his bass from a crouched position at the tip of the stage, beckoning the screaming fans in front of him. For the first couple of songs, Sharp insisted on breaking out into the bass line for Gary Numan's "Cars" between songs--which obviously inspired me to scream "GARY NUMAAAAAAAN!!!!!" at the top of my lungs.
One incredible song after another: "Say It Ain't So", "Undone", "No Other One", "The Good Life", "Pink Triangle", "Why Bother?"...a buddy named Adrian was brought out to drum for "Buddy Holly", while drummer Pat Wilson took over on bass. Matt Sharp--jobless for the song--proceeded to grab water bottle after water bottle, dousing the audience for the song's duration. After that they took up their normal positions again.
Last song of the set was the ultra-cool "Surf Wax America". And though they left the stage, the crowd kept up its chants of "Weezer! Weezer!" and "More! More!". Something was fishy...I knew they *couldn't* leave without playing the song "Mykel and Carli", an old b-side from the "Undone" single. They *had* to play it for this occasion...its just wouldn't be right if they left it out. Besides, my friend and I had been screaming for it since the band came on stage!
Finally, Matt Sharp came back out and
introduced the Allan family, all relatives of Mykel, Carli and Trysta.
Mr. Allan proceeded to deliver the most heartfelt, touching and powerful
words. Mr. Allan was decked out in a Weezer hat and the official benefit
t-shirt. Even from his first words "we came all the way out here from Utah",
the crowd was really responsive and supportive. Mr. Allan--obviously
fighting back tears all the while--said "I want you all to know that Mykel
and Carli died doing what they loved to do" (as they were driving back
from a Weezer show in Oregon when they were killed). "Mykel and Carli
loved every one of you". Mr. Allan intoroduced the immediate family on stage...his wife "whom I've had the fortune of being married to for 34 years" (which was received with much applause and cheering) and his two surviving sons. Their three baby nephews were held up as he declared "the proceeds from this concert are for them". He then introduced several family members who were up in the balcony, holding up a "we love Mykel, Carli and Trysta" banner. Mr. Allan gave us all hope as he stated "we had five children, and in my mind, today we *still* have five children...I believe Mykel and Carli are here with us
tonight and that they loved the show". He held up a framed picture of the three and said "this is our favorite picture of our daughters. I wish you were all close enough to see it". He then said “as Mykel and Carli said in an e-mail that a fan was nice enough to send us a copy of, they responded to a fan’s question by saying ‘they were our friends, they just happened to play music’”. Mr. Allan thanked all the fans all over the world for their kind e-mails and letters over the past few weeks, and closed with "on behalf of the whole family, we ask that you all take care of yourselves". This was an absolutely incredible few minutes.
What astounds me is that some people in the audience had no idea what this concert was for or who Mykel and Carli were. I'm sure that cleared it all up. I had even made home made buttons for the occasion on my computer. They simply said "Remember Mykel and Carli", with the Weezer logo on it.
Needless to say, the concert was not over yet. After a few minutes of relentless chanting of "More! More!", Rivers came out and picked up his electric guitar. He pulled out a harmonica and contemplatively tooted the first few notes of the song "Mykel and Carli"--the song my friend and I had been wailing our lungs raw for all night. Rivers proceeded to deliver the most heartfelt, thoughtful solo rendition of this beautiful song. "Back in Wilson High/I had two best friends/they lived down the block/where Eagle Court bends/'til the school bus came/and took my friends away/now I sit alone at home/sit and think all day/hear you me/Mykel/hear you me/Carli". It is so eerie that this song was written years before Mykel and Carli passed on, and it's lyrics now take on a new meaning. After the song was finished, there was a sad yet enthusiastic awe over the crowd. Rivers had taken this already beautiful song to a higher level.
Then the rest of the band came out and proceeded to ROCK OUR ARSES off with an absolutely incredible rendition of "El Scorcho". Even the giant Weezer logo's red, white and blue light bulbs were flashing in time to the music! After that, it was the mellow, beautiful "Only In Dreams", which many people had been yelling for all night. The middle section--which consists of a quiet jam, long buildup and then incredible rocking, distorted release--was absolutely...orgasmic. As the song ends, all the instruments drop out except for Matt, who is left alone to finish the song with his sad bass notes--even before he had finished, the whole crowd erupted. We had been truly rocked.
Before they left, Rivers told the audience "see you next year" which I know left an overall good felling and relieved alot of people--myself included. There had been talk that Rivers may go to school full time, depending on how the No Doubt tour went. Weezer has been hit with so much adversity in the last few years, and it hasn't phased them...they'll continue to rock. And as we all left the Hollywood Palace, the sounds of the theme from "The Dukes of Hazzard" filled the hall. What an incredible experience.
I picked up a wonderful memento from the occasion: a benefit concert t-shirt. The front says "hear you me!", with "m+c+t" in a pink heart. Then at the bottom it says "a benefit concert for the family of mykel, carli and trysta allan".
Great band...good cause...EXCELLENT SHOW!!! The whole thing was professionally videotaped, too! I had always declared Weezer my favorite 90's band, and this concert definitely solidified that.
© 1997 Crapple Records, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Crapple Records, Inc.
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