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Blink 182 at the Comcast Center, Hartford, Co, August 29th, 2009: Frat Boy Banter by Helen Bach

Writer Helen Bach and her friend Mary enjoy the gooey middle part in a night of boys rock.

Bands playing:
Chester French
Taking Back Sunday
Blink 182

Who doesnt love Weezer? Theyre like Devo with less technology and more self depreciation. When I found out last May they were touring with Blink 182 I fell off the chair. Finally, I’d be able to see them live.

I am not a fan of Blink. Theyre frat boy banter didnt amuse me when they were frat boy age, and now as Dads.. its a joke. Almost borderline embarrassing. They can make music but the quips and burping at the end of the songs was almost as bad as watching my dad sing ‘Born To Run’ at a stop light. Humiliating on so many levels. The whining pitch (what the hell is that anyway? Have you EVER heard a thicker whine from men?) as they voiced their sorrow over the untimely death of DJ AM, and imposed ‘moment of silence’, wasnt endearing, on the contrary it made me dislike them even more.

But its ok because before Blinks bulll……. I witnessed… Weezer.

Rivers Cuomo is a genius. Somehow singing with a conviction of an all time loser and making it ok. The fact that a band doesn’t feel like it has to impress anyone or even have a gigantic fanbase just makes me respect them even more. The stage was minimalistic. No smoke an mirrors just some bright lights and a trampoline. Good times my friend. At first I was stunned with the opening rendition of War Pigs…..but wait… actually kicked ass! Weezer doing Black Sabbath? Im loving it. Each song flowed into the next. There wasnt much chit chat, no boy talk on stage. Just perfectly placed songs and an audience soaking it in. For Island in the Sun, Rivers started by ”playing’ each instrument and walking away as its recorded version continued. From drum to bass to keyboard and finally to guitar the crowd participating ‘hip hip’s, we WERE Weezer.

The hokey fireman type matching outfits, the crowd participation, the lack of fist pumping. The lack of EGO, made this my top show of the summer. Weezer is George Castanza, theyre that geek cousin we all have who still lives in his parents basement. My friend Alex summed up Weezers performance most Weeze-like “they were good. they played songs. they were loud.” Alex is Weezer, I want to be Weezer forever.

As for Taking Back Sunday, I was blown away. Not one fan in the crowd was disappointed. Their stage presence was incredible, no one could take their eyes off the stage, and everyone secretly worried that all that microphone swinging was going to take someones eye out. Adam Lazzara’s lyrics were even more effective underneath the lights and thick sound of the thumping bass. No gimmicks, no lies, no illusions, just pure and talented musicians doing their thing. Seeing them live sure as hell beats listening to them on the radio.

A Massachusets band called Chester French opened to the handful of early arrivers to the Comcast Saturday night. They were bland, they had more ego than TBS and Weezer combined. Unimpressed opening act, those stuck in traffic lucked out missing them.

Like an oreo cookie, the best part was the middle.

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