Weezer, Sleigh Bells, Red Hot Chili Peppers 9/17/17

(i) lineup

1a. Weezer
2b. Sleigh Bells
3c. Red Hot Chili Peppers

(1a) (Weezer’s) setlist

  1. Hash Pipe
  2. My Name Is Jonas
  3. Pork and Beans
  4. Mexican Fender
  5. (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
  6. Perfect Situation
  7. Hey Ya! (Outkast cover)
  8. Thank God For Girls
  9. Beverly Hills
  10. Dope Nose / Back to the Shack / Keep Fishin’ / The Good Life / Surf Wax America
  11. Feels Like Summer
  12. Undone – The Sweater Song
  13. I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Mike Posner cover)
  14. Island in the Sun
  15. Say It Ain’t So

Encore:

  1. Buddy Holly

 

(1b) highlights

  • Weezer!!! I love those guys
  • getting to catch Weezer is always such a pleasure. Around first grade, I remember first discovering the band because my older brother loved them, and I’ve basically been a fan ever since.
  • practically a perfect setlist
  • can we talk about “Hey Ya”? it was fantastic
  • it was such a beautiful day and I won’t ever forget this set
  • being able to take photos at this show was AMAZING

(1c) lowlights

  • it was hot af and the crowd was full of older dudes who acted like they discovered Weezer in a basement back in 1992 – like chill.

(1d) overall thoughts

I never regret going to see Weezer. Their lives shows are full of so much joy and ease and encourage a sweet singalong vibe. I always have fun seeing the four guys onstage, playing old hits and newer tracks and having a great time. Rivers Cuomo – ever an enigmatic man – has so much fun onstage, sometimes I think despite the audience. He was dressed in red and chipper to be performing just as the sun was setting.

Despite the beginnings of fall just starting to take place, it was hot and still felt like summer. As if on cue with the day, the boys played their newest track, “Feels Like Summer.” The sun was shining, the shirt sleeves were short, and it was impossible not to sing along. My friends who know a couple of Weezer songs came along to the show and I was so happy to see them enjoying themselves too.

I know hardcore Weezer fans have a lot of thoughts and opinions on the band’s regular sets – and I understand it. But, to me, this was a perfect summer setlist. Easy breezy singalongs paired with a crowdsurfing man in an inflatable raft. What more could you ask for? Nothing.

Bottom line: I will always love Weezer and I will always remember this beautiful day. To me, Weezer is joy and this day will always remain joyful in my memory.

(2a) (Sleigh Bells’) setlist

  1. I Know Not to Count on You
  2. Unlimited Dark Paths
  3. Tell ‘Em
  4. It’s Just Us No
  5. Bitter Rivals
  6. Riot Rhythm
  7. Kids
  8. I Can Only Stare
  9. Comeback Kid
  10. Infinity Guitars
  11. Demons
  12. Crown on the Ground
  13. Rule Number One
  14. Throw Me Down the Stairs
  15. A/B Machines

(2b) highlights

  • this was my first time seeing Sleigh Bells and they are definitely fun
  • Alexis Krauss, the main face of the Brooklyn duo, is so cool and you can’t help but root for her
  • “Crown on the Ground” was super fun – I know that’s basic to say? but ah well

(2c) lowlights

  • it was hot and nighttime and we were tired – nothing bad to say about the show really

(2d) overall thoughts

It was the time of night when all of us were tired, lying down on the dirty concrete, and resting our eyes for a brief moment. Then Slight Bells took the stage. Their light show immediately awakened us and brought us to our feet as the crowd grew. The energy onstage was enough to make me wish I was up front and dancing in the pit.

Like many people, I first discovered Sleigh Bells through “Crown on the Ground” when it came out around the release of Sofia Coppola’s movie Bling Ring. And that song epitomizes a summer festival. You can’t help but sing along and get up and dance.

If anything, this performance made me want to catch Sleigh Bells again, at a smaller venue, in a bigger crowd, at another show and another time. Don’t miss them next time they’re in town.

Bottom line: We need more female-fronted cool af groups who know how to write a hit song and make people dance in a way that feels significant and meaningful. Because sometimes even an innocuous pop song can mean something during a summer show. We need Sleigh Bells.

(3a) (Red Hot Chili Peppers’) setlist

  1. Intro Jam
  2. Can’t Stop
  3. Dani California
  4. Scar Tissue
  5. Dark Necessities
  6. I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges cover)
  7. Right On Time
  8. Go Robot
  9. Californication
  10. What Is Soul? (Funkadelic cover)
  11. Aeroplane
  12. Don’t Forget Me
  13. Sick love
  14. Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder cover)
  15. Under the Bridge
  16. By The Way

Encore:

  1. Goodbye Angels
  2. Give It Away

(3b) highlights

  • the Peppers! I’ve never seen these guys before and damn, they are truly professionals
  • damn they have some pretty fantastic hits – more than I feel like I remembered? and that’s always sign of a great band to me
  • their super sophisticated light show and circular screens looked awesome
  • RHCP may be older dudes but they’re still rock stars; Anthony Kiedis still has an amazing voice
  • hearing RHCP – a group that’s not even actually from California but I strongly associate with my childhood and teenage years – sing California songs out in Queens warmed my heart
  • “Can’t Stop” and “Scar Tissue” are California in the 90’s and early 2000’s fully embodied

(3c) lowlights

  • unsurprisingly, even joint and vape pen made an appearance during this set. am I 90 years old?

(3d) overall thoughts

Growing up in California, I always just heard the Red Hot chili Peppers around whether I liked it or not. They were on the radio, in stores, in movies, pouring out of cars, stereos, somehow always floating around. I never really thought about what a presence they had in my life until this show, standing out in that converted parking lot in Queens. It felt like hearing a bit of home.

Bottom line: Red Hot Chili Peppers are bonafide rock stars who wrote bonafide rock songs. And this show proved that.

The Killers 9/20/15

(a) setlist

    1. Mr. Brightside
    2. Spaceman
    3. The Way It Was
    4. Smile Like You Mean It
    5. Bling (Confession of a King)
    6. Human
    7. Somebody Told Me
    8. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
    9. Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
    10. For Reasons Unknown
    11. From Here On Out
    12. A Dustland Fairytale
    13. Read My Mind
    14. Runaways
    15. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. This Is Your Life
  2. When You Were Young

(b) highlights

  • just being at the festival when I had no idea I was even going until like 4 days before
  • being in VIP and not having to stand at the barricade all damn day like I have for literally every other festival The Killers have ever played
  • “This Is Your Life” – the accidental incredible song from the otherwise lukewarm Day & Age that always totally kills live
  • the environment of the festival was awesome – breezy, by the beach, great food, fun atmosphere
  • RVJ, Dave’s outfit, and seeing Mark’s elbows
  • Brandon pretending like he understood football and wearing a Chargers jersey for the encore
  • the use of the jumbotron behind the band – I could get used to seeing all their faces that big all the time coming into my view

(c) lowlights

  • the VIP crowd was a w f u l; you know you’re bad when BFlow even calls you out mid-song for not dancing

(d) overall thoughts

 

Didn’t even know there was a music festival in San Diego called Kaaboo until The Killers were headlining. To be honest, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t even a music festival in San Diego called Kaaboo until The Killers were headlining it. The whole festival was practically right on the beach, looking out over the Pacific Ocean, and it was beautiful. My friends and I got stupid lucky with VIP tickets and didn’t have to wait all day in the sun – a true gift after a decade of nearly getting heatstroke at some festival for this band.

The set was usual, but the band was so, so alive and I felt so crazy happy being there. Despite the stage being huge and the band headlining, there was such an intimate feeling to the show. It could be that most of the crowd immediately around me and my friends were bored, unmoving, and, essentially, stupid rich people who didn’t care but watched the show anyway. But because they were stagnant idiots, they effectively disappeared. It felt like the band was on a massive stage with a tiny audience of the 20 or so people who had the best time ever. I remember when “This Is Your Life” began, I started yelling, “None of you boring, rich people deserve to hear this beautiful song!!!!”

Sometimes shows are super awesome when the crowd sucks and you have a great time anyway because the band sounds and looks so perfect.

Bottom line: Costume changes during encores are always a good idea and most rich people don’t know how to dance, but all Brandon Flowers wants is for you to dance, people. Just dance or he will be sassy.

The Killers 9/19/15

(a) setlist

    1. Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley cover)
    2. Under The Gun
    3. Spaceman
    4. The Way It Was
    5. Smile Like You Mean It
    6. Bling (Confession of a King)
    7. Human
    8. Somebody Told Me
    9. For Reasons Unknown
    10. From Here On Out
    11. A Dustland Fairytale
    12. Be Still
    13. Read My Mind
    14. Runaways
    15. All These Things That I’ve Done

Encore:

  1. Finding Out True Love Is Blind (Louis XIV cover) (w/ Brian Karscig)
  2. Uncle Jonny
  3. When You Were Young
  4. Mr. Brightside

(b) highlights

  • “Under The Gun,” holllyyyyy shiiiiitttttttt, we lost it
  • “Be Still” – much like the Atlantic City show earlier this year, Brandon dedicated this one to the fans who follow the band around and had really nice things to say; he waved his hands and pointed out the sections of people, which included me and my friends…the gesture meant a lot, to say the least
  • I first discovered Louis XIV in 2005, maybe 2006, because of The Killers and haven’t seen them in years (they broke up circa 2009, if I recall), so it was amazing getting to see Brandon sing “Finding Out True Love Is Blind” with Louis XIV’s guitarist and friend Brian Karscig (he also has a pretty awesome band named The Nervous Records, who opened for Big Talk a few months before this show); my friends and I had the time of our lives, total blast from the past moment seeing this live
  • but seriously, have you ever heard the lyrics to “Finding Out True Love Is Blind”?? those lines are diiiiirtttty, freaking loved hearing Schoolboy Flowers sing those
  • Ronnie Vannucci’s existence
  • “Uncle Jonny” is one of the best Killers songs, it’s criminally underrated, and they completely transform it live – it’s freaking next level
  • the entire show, to be honest – it felt so special, so wonderful, just…everything

(c) lowlights

  • just as the band started “From Here On Out,” Brandon said, “Hey!!! Do you guys still like ‘From Here On Out’????” and I flat out yelled, “BARELY!” Because I am on my last rope with that song, let’s retire this with our dancing shoes, Mr. Flowers. Let it go.

(d) overall thoughts

Every once in a while, you go to a show expecting to have fun, but something so much bigger happens. Somehow, unexpectedly, this show ended up being one of my favorite Killers shows ever. I wasn’t even supposed to go to this show; my friends and I super last-minute caught a cross-country flight using a zillion flight points and ended up at this small venue in San Diego to see our favorite band. It was super hot and we lied on the sidewalk for most of the day waiting in line and weren’t even in the front row (we were third row center!), but, man…that show was amazing.

The band had so much energy, the crowd had so much energy, and I genuinely never knew what song was coming next. Hearing “Under The Gun” live for the first time in – what, 7, 8, 9(?) years, was so emotional and wonderful. It was such a treat, such a gift, that I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. This show in particular was just full of so much joy and happiness and celebration. The band wasn’t touring for anything (this counted as a warm-up show for their Kaaboo Festival performance!), so the crowd was super hungry for them. Considering how, at this point, The Killers hadn’t put out a new album in three years, it felt natural that everyone’s hunger made the venue environment next level. The band seemed so happy and everyone was smiling and in their element. As if I needed reminding, this show really drove home how much I love The Killers and how happy they make me. You can’t forget some experiences like that. This one was one for the books.

 

Bottom line: I love that The Killers can still surprise me after a decade of waiting in line all damn day to see their asses play the same songs I’ve heard a hundred times; 11/10 would do this whole show 50 times over again because it was almost perfect.