Weezer Brings Hits for Ecstatic Jakarta Fans
With a band as seasoned as Weezer, there is little to no chance an audience is going to walk away disappointed. Hits and fan favorites are executed with the technical precision of road-tested musicians, all topped off with arena rock nuances that work — even if they border on the cliche — simply because the ones doing it are big rock stars.
Tuesday’s show at Lapangan D in Senayan showed just how true that was. Frontman Rivers Cuomo did the whole shtick gloriously, sprinkling his onstage banter with plenty of almost-perfect Indonesian. So you got everything from “Aku mencintaimu Indonesia” (“I love you Indonesia”) to a simple “Sip” (akin to “Yep” or “Cool”). The audience recognized these tricks of course, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t go wild for it. There were even dueling guitars and bass hero poses between Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell and bassist Scott Shriner.
But the biggest cheers were of course for the songs. Billed as a Greatest Hits show plus a whole encore featuring every song from the band’s first record (their most universally beloved), it was a night of complete crowd pleasing. Weezer opened with some of its more current hits from its last few records, including the quirky “Pork and Beans” and major hit “Beverly Hills,” before slowly diving back into older hits, such as the yearning “El Scorcho” and “Across the Sea,” as well as “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun” from 2001’s self-titled third record (dubbed “The Green Album” for its color scheme). These yesteryear mementos certainly encouraged more sing-alongs from the crowd of nostalgia-driven late-20- and 30-somethings.
Ending the first half of their set with the self-loathing of “Tired of Sex” from “Pinkerton,” Weezer retreated backstage, giving the crowd a chance to view a slideshow of pictures from the band’s earlier days, including some pre-fame nuggets such as old concert posters for free Weezer gigs.
The slideshow was narrated by Karl Koch, the band’s longtime “fifth member” who has been with the band as a crew member, documentarian, manager, sideman and fan liaison since the beginning. Koch’s narration felt spontaneous (even if it wasn’t, considering this is a tour) and added a warmth to the nostalgic occasion.
That occasion of course peaked with the performance of the whole first record, a k a “The Blue Album,” which was performed exactly as the songs appear on the record. Opener “My Name is Jonas” had the crowd singing along even louder than during the first set (excepting perhaps during “Across the Sea”), and the band followed suit with one crowd-pleaser after another. Knowing what songs will come next only added to the personal nature of the fans’ relationship with each track, and it was easy to get lost the in euphoria of crowd choirs and genuine cheers.
After the last note dropped of the soaring “Only in Dreams” outro, many in the crowd opted to wait around, hoping for an encore. After awhile the stage crew started handing out setlists and guitar picks, signaling the end of the night.
During Weezer’s press conference the night before, Cuomo spoke of returning to Indonesia to play the whole of “Pinkerton.” Considering last night’s successful run and satisfied crowd, that will be another show whose success is guaranteed.