Weezer recruited the Roots and Jimmy Fallon for a “classroom instruments” version of A-ha’s “Take on Me” on Thursday’s Tonight Show. The group went suitably retro for the occasion, with Fallon and Rivers Cuomo sporting New Wave/synth-pop haircuts and neon jackets with sharp shoulder pads and rolled-up sleeves.
The ramshackle, 13-member crew performed the chart-topping 1984 single with the show’s usual arrangement of shaker, wood block, toy xylophone, tambourine, bongos, ukulele, floor tom and melodica. Cuomo belted out the song’s signature, octave-leaping lead vocal, with the others chiming in on the staccato chorus backing vocal. The editing crew even contributed to the Eighties flair, alluding to the original song’s partly animated video with sporadic bursts of black-and-white.
The song choice wasn’t totally random: Weezer—who teamed with Fallon earlier in the week for a barbershop-styled take on their hit “Buddy Holly”—recorded a version of “Take on Me” as part of their recently issued, self-titled covers LP (better known as “The Teal Album”). The band released their 13th album of original material, the Dave Sitek-produced Weezer (“The Black Album”) on Friday.
The group will promote their recent records on a co-headlining North American tour that launches March 8th in Louisville, Kentucky and wraps April 12th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Weezer have other stand-alone and festival dates booked throughout the spring and summer.