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Weezer Cover Nirvana, Jam With Fans at Tour Kick Off Show

September 24, 2008 12:22 PM ET

On the first U.S. date of Weezer's "Troublemaker" tour, the sold out crowd at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts was able to observe two of the many bands the headliners have begat. The hooky Canadian power pop monster Tokyo Police Club and the emo-via-U2 Angels & Airwaves both contain a bit of Weezer's DNA (especially the band's 90s output). It turned the evening into an interesting example of reverse-evolution.

Photo Gallery: Weezer Kick Off The "Troublemaker" Tour in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Rivers Cuomo and his band took the stage — featuring two drum kits, multiple keyboards and a small trampoline that was removed in favor of a larger one— dressed in matching white jumpsuits. Four songs in, they switched to red jumpsuits and invited Tom DeLonge and Atom Willard from Angels & Airwaves to join them for a rousing rendition of "Undone - Sweater Song." Throughout the set, Cuomo leapt and yelped like a manic leprechaun.

The band mixed much-beloved deep cuts ("Pink Triangle") with more recent gems ("Pork and Beans"). The strangest moments of the night came during their covers of Oasis' "Morning Glory" and Nirvana's "Sliver," the latter of which came after Cuomo played the Cobain-saluting "Heart Songs" on a record player. At the end of the night, Weezer invited about 30 fans (many from the nearby Berklee College of Music) to jam with them on "Island In The Sun" and "Beverly Hills." One of them even played a didgeridoo. As Cuomo remarked to guitarist Brian Bell earlier in the night, "That was pretty dope."

Set list:
"Dope Nose"
"Hash Pipe"
"Dreamin'"
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
"Automatic"
"Say It Ain't So"
"Suzanne"
"Troublemaker"
"King"
"My Name Is Jonas"
"Pink Triangle"
"Pork and Beans"
"Keep Fishin'"
"Perfect Situation"
"El Scorcho"
"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived"
"Morning Glory" (Oasis cover)
"Island In The Sun"
"Beverly Hills"
"Heart Songs"
"Sliver" (Nirvana cover)
"Buddy Holly"

Related Stories:Weezer Among Bands Releasing Memory Card Albums
Weezer Cast Fans in "Troublemaker" Video
Weezer Announce Tour With Tokyo Police Club and Angels & Airwaves

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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