Welcome to Weezer’s hootenany

Weezer stopped by Portland’s Oak Park Fairgrounds back on the 19th and held a good ole fashioned hootenany. The local radio station 94.7 invited like 200 people to play instruments and jam out with Rivers Cuomo.

I’ve always wondered what it was that makes Weezer so damn embraceable; they seem to want to go in the opposite direction of what’s cool and now. Their strategy for being rock’n’roll icons, for lack of a better term, seems counterintuitive. Maybe that’s their appeal, but still, you’ve got to hand it to a band that keeps chugging along and giving fans something special.

Pampelmoose was on hand to get the video of the band rehearsing and eventually covering Radiohead’s “Creep.”

Radiohead’s “Creep”

The Portland Mercury’s Erik Henrikson has a great write up about the day. Henrikson is relatable because he comes from the same place every Weezer fans does: loves The Blue Album unquestionably, bows down before the greatness of Pinkerton and then sort of wonders what happened to the band. I wish I knew. Though I don’t think any of their post-Pinkerton efforts are bad and the thing to keep in mind is that Weezer is a singles band. When all is said and done my future-kids will be listening to Weezer’s greatest hits on whatever format they will listen to music on.

On entering the pavilion, everyone gets a booklet autographed by Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner (Patrick Wilson, pulling a Greg Oden, isn’t around thanks to a knee injury). Inside are lyrics to the setlist: “Pork and Beans,” “Island in the Sun,” Radiohead’s “Creep,” “Say It Ain’t So,” “El Scorcho,” “Beverly Hills,” and, in addition to the lyrics on these Xeroxed pages, there are hand-scrawled notes in the margins, written in some sort of bewildering and frightening foreign language: “In the key of F# minor (after tuning town 1/2 step),” says the one for “Island in the Sun,” while “Creep” is annotated with “Chord progression: G major – B major – C major – C minor.” I ignore this bizarre stuff, and contented myself with singing, because I know four of those six songs by heart. I probably should not admit how much I enjoy singing “Hip hip!” during “Island in the Sun.” But fuck it: “Hip hip!” is fun to sing, and “Pork and Beans” is really fun to hum along to, and yes, “Beverly Hills” is a terrible fucking song, but it’s still a great song to stomp your feet along to, provided, I guess, that it’s Rivers Cuomo telling you to do the stomping, and there are 200 other people, aged 11 to 40, all around you, equally excited about doing the same thing.

Damn, I wish I was there.

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