COLUMN: Weezer concert epitomizes geekdom

"In the garage, I feel safe. No one laughs about my ways."

On Dec. 3 I was surrounded by legions of the most uncool people in the world.

I was at a Weezer concert.

I've seen a lot of killer concerts. I've seen Black-Eyed Peas in a small, intimate setting (simply amazing). I saw the last Grateful Dead show in Indianapolis, ever (That wasn't my fault). I've even seen Stryper (Let's not discuss that). But this was Weezer.

When I saw Black-Eyed Peas, I realized the other people in attendance were far more hip than I could ever be. When I saw the Grateful Dead, I found the fans to be arboreal-sexual hippies. Stryper fans were just pathetic. But Weezer fans? These folks were my people.

I was in an arena with 7,000 people just like me.

Well, to be fair, they weren't all just like me. Tenacious D and Jimmy Eat World opened the show and they had their own, smaller fan-bases in attendance. Don't get me wrong, Tenacious D rocks my socks off, but fans of "The D" are generally lacking in knowledge of how to operate a shower. And Jimmy Eat World fans - well, emo-pop and its followers annoy me. At least the presence of Jimmy Eat World meant there were lots of cute emo-girls at the show.

Ah, yes, lots of very cute emo-girls. But I digress.

If there ever was a band that stayed true to the game, Weezer is it. After the encore ("Surf Wax America," for inquiring minds), Rivers Cuomo picked up his sweater and walked off-stage. The man wore a sweater to a rock concert.

That's exactly what makes Weezer so great. They are the epitome of the Geek Band (Take a seat, Devo). When Green Day was writing songs about marijuana and masturbation, Weezer had the testicular fortitude to write songs about "Dungeons and Dragons" and Asian-girl fetishes. They aren't making music to be cool. Weezer is making music for us and they still are.

True, the new "Green Album" sounded a little bit too much like emo - but for the most part, the music Weezer makes today is little different than music of the "Blue Album" that rallied the world's geeks in 1994. The fans at the show really appreciated that.

The set that night had a healthy mix of songs from all three albums, but when Weezer cranked out songs from the "Blue Album," the arena was filled with a certain magic. Those songs were preceded by a guitar change, so the fans knew what was coming. It was a feeling that everyone there just wanted to have a good time, and even if they did cancel "Freaks and Geeks" (arguably the best television drama since "The Wonder Years"), everything was going to be okay.

Just about everyone sang along then. Some (me) were louder and more obnoxious than others - but most everyone was softly whispering the choruses to the "Sweater Song" and "Say It Ain't So." Catharsis.

Perhaps I exaggerate. Maybe I'm so disenchanted with the music industry that the slightest indication of artistry seems like the greatest thing since The Clash, but I swear, that concert felt like four lucky guys were playing for a whole world of people who will never be extreme sports athletes or cast members on Real World. It was as though the four members of Weezer knew just how the rest of us felt, and they understood.

Weezer may be popular, but they'll never be cool. And like the rest of the world's socially obscure that were at that concert, I know that no matter what, I've got Weezer waiting there for me. Yes I do; I do.

Write to Ben at


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