Liverpool natives the Wombats, a headlining band in their own right across the pond, began the evening with a short but spirited set. “So it’s 90 percent humidity?” frontman Matthew Murphy asked the crowd early on before churning out a series of equally warm yet welcoming singles. Because the crowd was still filing in, Coral Sky Amphitheatre was only around half capacity — a shame considering the quality of the show by the three-piece.
If the Wombats were a new thrill for fans in attendance, the same could not be said for the Pixies, an old flame that still burns brightly for so many listeners. When Black Francis and company took the stage, so did the history of modern alternative and indie rock. In addition to icons such as the Cure, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Prince, the Pixies are arguably one of the top five most influential acts of the past 30 years. Without them, we wouldn't have Nirvana or Radiohead; indeed, the entirety of the early-'90s alt-rock renaissance wouldn't have occurred.
It’s telling that a venerated and beloved band such as the Pixies, who have been around longer than some of the fans in attendance have been alive, gets second billing to Weezer. The Pixies' songs never exactly caught fire with the general public, but they caught the ear of the right people, namely fellow musicians such as Weezer and the Wombats. They also inspired a legion of loyal fans, many of whom came to the show Friday night as a pilgrimage.
Though some attendees treated the Pixies as beautiful, crunching background noise, everyone in their seats and on the lawn stood at attention for one of the few legitimately huge rock bands still left in the industry.
Weezer emerged from behind a veil that dropped to reveal a stage designed to look like a garage, where the band began its career. The set had hints of the high school from their Happy Days-inspired video for “Buddy Holly.” It was the first big visual hint that the band was going old-school in more ways than one.
online Twitter campaign by fans.
Cuomo is the new Dick Clark, the never-aging teenager, if Clark had sung songs about girls and hash pipes and the inability to stop partying. The Weezer frontman went through three costume changes, all representing his different levels of partying, beginning with a shirt and tie, then a Weezer soccer jersey, and finally a rad jean jacket.
Amid all of the evening’s nostalgia, the Pixies and Weezer taught a lesson on the evolution of modern rock while also showing why they are both hugely influential in the lives of thousands of bands that have and will come after them.
Best of all, they showed the kids how a proper rock 'n' roll show is done.