Monday, August 5, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 161


Weezer continues to 'enlighten'

By Chris Brunt
The Daily Cougar

Rock 'n' roll gods Weezer torched the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion to the ground Thursday night, fulfilling their much-anticipated Houston stop on the
Enlightenment Tour. Music-heads, security guards, even concession-stand attendants could only weep with gratitude for the evening of pyrotechnics, light effects, and fan-favorite songs played with verve.

It may be premature, but many fans speculate that Weezer is entering a much-deserved golden age. After their fabulous initial success with self-titled Weezer
(commonly called "the blue album"), they tumbled into oblivion with sophomore release Pinkerton.

Though it now functions as an indicator of a Weezer fan's degree of devotion, this album threatened to end the band's career early on. It was poorly received
and resulted in a multi-year hiatus punctuated by lead-singer Rivers Cuomo's storied bout with depression. 

Slowly, however, fans of the first album began giving Pinkerton a second chance, and it's now regarded as a darker, edgier classic, comparable in genius to
the blue album.

Taking two steps back, the band then released "the green album" in 2000, disappointing a legion of fans now primed for Pinkerton II. Rather than developing
the emotional intensity of Pinkerton further, the green album played like a prequel to blue, with polite pop hooks and trite, unconvincing lyrics. 

But Weezer landed on its feet after this disappointment, opting to furnish yet another collection of songs with Maladroit.

Maladroit has catapulted Weezer back into rock 'n' roll royalty, and The Enlightenment Tour has only amplified their fame. Fans at Thursday's concert ranged
from young teeny-bopper types to nervous baby-boomers, yet all seemed to dig Weezer to the fullest. Performing a set-list comprised largely from their first
two albums, fans were granted a nostalgic, celebratory night of music.

Opening the show with "Why Bother," a hard-driving hit from Pinkerton, the band catalogued many of their most popular tracks from the first two albums,
totaling six off each. The most successful tracks off each of the group's releases were covered, including "Buddy Holly," "Undone," "El Scorcho," "Pink
Triangle" and "Island in the Sun." 

The lighting and pyrotechnic engineers deserve recognition for their work, adding energy and hipness to the high-voltage show.

Lead singer and guitarist Cuomo has emerged from his solitary Harvard sojourn as a genuine rock star, achieving that elusive balance of angst and
glamour. Cuomo proved this beyond doubt at Thursday's concert. His guitar playing was excellent, taking his solos at faster tempos and higher registers,
and his singing was consistently satisfying.

The allure of Weezer has never been stronger than during this show. The energy was at full throttle, even through ballad encore of "Only In Dreams." 

Ensconced by thick smoke and dream-like blue lights, the band seemed to be urging its fans to sleep well.

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