The time of the night came at the Ambleside Music Festival that everyone had been itching for. The crowd quickly began to swell in size as the smoky blood red sun lowered behind the trees, and the main act’s set pieces made their appearance. Sheets were whipped away to reveal what would be a car’s dashboard the size of the stage. Hidden screens and lights would illuminate, displaying an odometer and radio. A mysteriously shaped garbage bag-like material would inflate to become an enlarged steering wheel. And rising from behind it all, bringing with it screams and adoration, was the ever recognizable W logo belonging to long adored LA band, Weezer.
One of the lesser noted (yet my personal favourite) elements of live concerts is the waiting music in between acts. As Saint Motel closed and the Weezer set was taking its place, a myriad of nostalgic music was played through the crowd. One such cleverly chosen song was Africa by Toto, one of which was popularly covered by Weezer in their Teal cover album. As the chorus ended, the music was dramatically shut off following a switch in the stage’s set pieces. The car dashboard radio was changing stations, accompanied by radio static and coinciding song changes. As the music and radio static were swelling, Weezer slowly danced themselves onstage, picked up their instruments, and eased their way into My Name is Jonas.
The whole show was absolutely unreal. It was clear that Weezer was a foundational part of so many people’s upbringing and introduction into the music realm, as all around a mix of generations were crying over old and new songs throughout the entire night. Rivers Cuomo introduced the set as being one of a “road trip through time,” playing namely some of their old school fan favorites, such as Beverly Hills, Pink Triangle, and Island in the Sun.
My biggest takeaway, especially this being my first ever Weezer concert, is that the entire band was just so pleasant. On the internet, it’s become somewhat of a meme to play one of the more notable guitar riffs from their song Buddy Holly, and then claiming to have been “Weezered.” During one of their songs, Cuomo interrupted and yelled into his mic “You’ve all just been Weezered!” The group would also break for mini dance sessions, what seemed like a Tai Chi break, and would stand looking out over the crowd with their hands over their hearts.
Much is with festivals, Weezer’s performance felt far too short. They finished by playing the ever famous Buddy Holly and exited into the hazy night with a crescendoing noise of applause and distraught, as fans were still yearning for more. With the first night of the Ambleside Music Festival wrapped up, the crowd side stepped their way over discarded beer cans, drink cups, and crushed water bottles, to continue playing echoing notes of Weezer on their transitions home.