Weezer and Pixies at Summerfest 2005 was the first concert I ever went to.That show at that time would be the peak of my musical fandom of any band at any time in my life.
In 2005 I was a freshman at Franklin High School. The previous year I had purchased The Blue Album from the Best Buy on 76th street. It was a revelation. Shortly after I picked up Pinkerton, the album that, to this day, stands as the album that I’ve listened to the most in my life.
At the time I worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant on the Southside and I would bring in my own boom box and play The Blue Album, Pinkerton, The Green Album, and Maladroit on loop through my six hour sift in the kitchen, twice a week, every week.
Cuomo’s confessional lyrics paired up with gigantic sing along hooks are a perfect expression of frustration and longing and I found them irresistible. Cuomo had feelings. I did too.
I bought every Weezer album, spent hours on dial up internet downloading rarities and b-sides, and there was even a point in my life where I vowed, to myself, to never listen to anything but Weezer ever again.
At the peak of this fandom, Summerfest announced that Weezer would be headlining the Marcus Amphitheater.
Granted, this was to tour their maligned Make Believe album. Make Believe remains to be a low point in the Weezer discography, but as a 15 year old superfan I was willing to look past all of its glaring missteps and embrace literally anything that Cuomo and company released.
The shows opener was The Fray. Playing the 7PM spot to a crowd no larger than 200 people they gave the crowd a heart felt thank you as they remarked that this was the biggest crowd they had ever played in front of to that point.
Following The Fray, Pixies played. I didn’t really know where they were. I’m sorry.
Then Weezer came out. Rivers was wearing what remains to be the ugliest blazer I have ever seen. But that didn’t matter. I was 15 years old and I was seeing Weezer. Live. In the flesh. I yelled every word at the top of my lungs. I held my hands up in the flying W, I cried a little bit, I was in the full throws of fandom, I was in my glory.
Since then I’ve seen shows that were more spectacular, I’ve seen better singers, I’ve had crazier experiences, but I’ve never seen anyone perform music that I loved so much as I did when I saw Weezer in 2005.