Review: Weezer at SunFest 2017 in West Palm Beach

Rivers Cuomo, photo by Ron Elkman

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Rivers Cuomo, photo by Ron Elkman
Rivers Cuomo, photo by Ron Elkman

See more images of SunFest Day 1 here


SunFest 2017 is officially here! Downtown West Palm Beach is closed off to traffic so that ticket holders can leisurely peruse the vendor stations, lounges, and of course, listen to live music.

On Wednesday night, Weezer headlined SunFest on the Ford Stage off Clematis Street. Paying homage to Los Angeles roots, the show started with a tape recording of Weezer’s “California Kids” playing through the speakers on a dark stage.

When the colored lights came on and the huge “W” emblem glittered onstage, lead vocalist and guitarist Rivers Cuomo was front and center in a bright orange bomber jacket, his signature black hipster glasses and his trademark green electric guitar covered in stickers.

The show’s unofficial theme comprised their greatest hits from “The Green Album,” and “The Blue Album,” with favorites from “Pinkerton,” “The Red Album” and “The White Album” thrown in for good measure. The set was a dichotomy: upbeat alternative rock melodies, lengthy guitar solos and speakers so loud they reverberated in your chest followed by mellow, indie beats and comical lyrics.

Weezer opened their 13-song set list with “Hash Pipe,” then launched swiftly into “My Name is Jonas.” After “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” fans rejoiced at the opening notes of “Pork and Beans.”

The crowd was enthusiastic throughout the show, with a notable trend of parents and their kids spanning the landscape. Fans whooped and clapped excitedly to the opening strains of “Beverly Hills,” and Cuomo appeared on stage wearing a sombrero. The tempo felt a bit quicker than the recorded version, but fans managed to sing along without any trouble.

Next, there was a smooth transition into “Dope Nose/Back to the Shack/Keep Fishin’/The Good Life/Surf Wax America.” Cuomo and his band mates Patrick Wilson (drums, backup vocals), Brian Bell (rhythm guitar, keyboard, backup vocals) and Scott Shriner (bass, backup vocals) took turns showcasing their musical talents, with drum solos, bass and electric solos and unexpected melody and tempo changes.

The mood slowed with “Island in the Sun,” only to pick up again with “King of the World.” Cuomo made another costume appearance with a gold plastic crown and red cape decorated in white fur bearing the “W” from the Weezer logo. The show closed with the slightly angsty, ever popular, “Say It Ain’t So,” and the stage went dark.

But no Weezer concert is complete without “El Scorcho” and “Buddy Holly.” After playing these two songs for the encore, Weezer thanked the crowd, made “W” signs with their hands, and  left the stage. Find the complete set list here.
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