Weezer and The Pixies: Concert review

Two iconic bands swept the crowds at Colonial Life Arena off their feet


A bucket list show for many, Weezer and The Pixies co-headlined Columbia’s largest venue to bring the nostalgia of 90’s alt-rock to thousands of fans at Colonial Life Arena. 

After seeing Weezer back in 2014 at the Jacksonville alt-rock festival, The Big Ticket, it was a fantastic time to reminisce and note the evolution of their live performance. As a child raised in a family who followed The Pixies religiously in the 80’s, I was surrounded by their music from a young age.

The Pixies started under an ambient presence on stage, a subtle backlight silhouetting the band. Beginning their lengthy 24-track set list with “Gouge Away,” “Wave of Mutilation” and “Bone Machine,” The Pixies put their softer verses and heavy-hitting choruses on display for the start to their set. 

Although not ideal for photos, their shadowed presence on stage worked perfectly with their sound. They’ve been around for decades, but The Pixies’ stage presence did not reflect any loss of energy. They kept everyone on their feet. 

Unfortunately, after my three songs in the photo pit, we were escorted back to the cramped media holding room, only to hear the rest of their set from backstage. However, their hit song “Where is My Mind?” penetrated the walls of the media room, making my photo-editing time a temporary jam session.

After an eager night of waiting, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Patrick Wilson and Scott Shriner started their set with “Buddy Holly, harmonizing in the style of a barbershop quartet. A barbershop rendition was definitely a first for me, but I wouldn’t expect Weezer to do anything less. 

For its tour debut, Weezer brought out their 2008 “Red Album” lead track, “Troublemaker,” for a spin, bringing fans out of their seats. One of my personal favorites on their recently released “Teal Album” was the Toto cover “Africa.” I was ecstatic to hear this live for the first time after receiving many videos of this track performed live last year. 

The remainder of Weezer’s set was filled with hits like “Beverly Hills,” “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “Island in the Sun” and “Hash Pipe.” Covers from “Teal Album” were a new addition to their live performance and kept fans captivated and singing along throughout the set. The band’s cover of A-ha’s 1985 hit “Take on Me” was a remarkable way to start their encore alongside their tour debut of “El Scorcho” and, of course, an encore performance of “Buddy Holly.”

As the night came to an end, I was able to look back on Weezer’s live sound evolution from five years ago – the last time I saw the band play – to now. They continue to surprise their fans with new singles and covers and hopefully will not stop any time soon. As a lifelong listener, I can say it was a night I will not forget – I got to cross photographing one of my favorite bands off my bucket list. 

For a full set list from both bands at Colonial Life, visit www.setlist.fm

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