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September 06, 2000 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-06

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AJ emented Return to A2...
Stephen Dorff and Melanie Griffith star
in the latest John Waters pelicula, "Cecil
r.Demented." Vayan con dins, tucha
ch a- At the Michigan Theater tonight.
michigandaily.com/arts

Avis

WEDNESDAY
SEPTEMBER 6, 2000

*Weezer sneaks into Detroit for a
show; chats about future plans

By David Enders
Daily Arts Writer

DETROIT - When Weezer played
at St. Andrew's Hall Saturday night, it
vas part of a tour so underpublicized
that neither the venue's website or
wwvw.pollstarcom had confirmed the
concert before tickets sold out. But if
the show came as a surprise to fans, it
was almost as much as a surprise to
band members.
"I would say no one anticipated any-
thing happening until we got an offer
from Japan saying come over and olav

kind of went ftom there" drummer Pat
Wilson said before the show. "We
played some kind of secret shows, some
clubs in Bakersfield, (Calif.) and that
turned into 'Hey, you want to come do
eight shows on the Warped Tour'?,' and
that turned into Why don't we just
keep going?"'
That's exactly what they did. The
U.S. leg of the tour began in New
York August 23 and is expected to
end in California this month. It
marks the end a nearly four-year
absence from the music scene for the
band, which last toured following the

Pinkerton, in 1996.
Saturday, it appeared the band had
never left. Frontman Rivers Cuomo
was unflappable: When was the last
time you saw a shirt stay tucked in
for the duration of a rock concert, let
alone buttoned all the way to the col-
lar? His trademark horn-rimmed
Buddy Holly glasses look like they
would be at horme in your parent's
high school yearbook. He doesn't
stage-dive, and he almost never
moved around except to get down on
one knee and drive home a chord
with a big overhand swing. He is
dwarfed by the other band members.
It's such a non-presence that it's a
presence.
Wilson explained why the band was
gone for so long.
"We lost a bass player and had to get
a new one," he said. "Basically, we just
took our time.
Former bassist Matt Sharp skipped
the tour to work on a new album with
his band the Rentals. But Wilson said
he hasn't been permanently replaced
by new bassist Mikey Welsh,
Julianna Hatfield's former four-
stringer.
"It still wasn't technically a split, I
think Matt's still technically in the band.
It's a classic case of he said we fired
him and we said he quit. Unless we
want to litigate, we're going to have to
settle, and no one wants to litigate.
Although I think we'd win, we have
more money. That's what it comes down
to, hire a big time litigator. Whatever.
It's bullshit."
Wilson said the absence of Sharp has
allowed the band to concentrate.
"I think we're just more focused
now - Matt and Rivers had their
own creative thing. I think Rivers
had to kind of figure out how to
write the songs he was happy with
without anybody else's help and
think of the band as players that
would come in and flesh the shit out.
instead of 'this is how I want it to be.
You know, it was never really like
that, but it was more like that with

S
Norman Ng/DAILY
Yes, I do look like Buddy Holly: Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo emotes for the St. Andrew's crowd on Saturday night.

Matt. And plus, Matt really wasn't in
to playing the bass... he didn't love
it. Mikey, it's like his only thing. He
just likes to play the bass."
Whether or not Sharp has been per-
manently replaced, it was evident that
Welsh with feels right at home. Perhaps
most telling was his starting of the
band's three-song encore with the bass-
heavy "Only in Dreams," which was
written by Sharp.
Welsh brings a new dynamic to the
band. Fle is more of a rock star than
Cuomo, Wilson or guitarist Brian Bell
- the only one who jumps around,
climbs up on a speaker or incites the

crowd to clap. Perhaps it's the stoic
nature of the band that has led to the
"nerd" moniker so often applied to
them.
"Everyone so far is like, 'What do
you think of the word nerd?' it seems
like a loaded question," Wilson said.
"The implication is that it's a nega-
tive thing to be a nerd?
"I don't feel like I've aggressively
adopted a nerd pose - but I wouldn't
say that other members of the bad
haven't," lie said with a sardonic
smile. "How come nobody says peo-
ple just look normal in America?
You're either a jock, or a stoner, or a

nerd. But no one's just normal, it
seems like."
"I wouldn't deny that our fans look
nerdy. I think they're totally nerdy.,u a'
good way, I think. Good for us."
Nerdy may be an accurate de'srip-
tion for their fans - but perhaps'
devoted is an even better word.-
While waiting for the doors to opene
fanls with tickets turned down offers;
of over S100 froim fans without. Facer
value was 514.50.
So nerdv are the fans that Cuomo
came up with the idea to let theme
vote on the band's internet site;
See Weezer, Page 13

Weezer drummer Pat Wilson rocked the kit and chatted with the Michigan Daily.

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