By Sam Albright
A mass of people filed past a bar, weaving through slot machine stations and into the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. The stage is set for two all-time great alternative rock bands: The Pixies, a Boston-based group that formed in 1986, and Weezer, a very popular band from Los Angeles.
The Pixies have a much more rough and loud sound, whereas Weezer is far closer to the familiar pop-rock style that produces radio-friendly tunes that still chart today. Some people in attendance did not even know of the Pixies and were there simply to see Weezer.
“This is the first I’ve heard of [the Pixies],” said audience member John McKin. “The last time I saw Weezer, they were touring with Panic! At the Disco.”
People came from all over New England and beyond to see the show. There was even at one couple who drove all the way up from Florida. The crowd was full of local folk as well, which makes sense given that the Pixies originated in Massachusetts and Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer and songwriter for Weezer, is from the area.
“I actually grew up in Connecticut,” recalled Cuomo during the show. “This place means a lot to me.”
Despite striking differences in musical stylings and concert presentation, the two bands ended up complementing each other quite well.
The Pixies took a subdued approach when it came to stage scenery, props, and audience interaction. However, that was about all they remained subdued in. They were there for one reason, and one reason only: to play music. And they certainly did a remarkable job at that.
Playing such hits as “Monkey Gone to Heaven”, “Gouge Away” and “Where is My Mind”, the Pixies delivered a non-stop torrent of intense rock that lasted for over an hour and a half. It was loud, it was intense, but more than anything it was a damn good performance. Lead singer Black Francis can still hit his notes after so many years.
After the Pixies finished their performance, the four bandmates of Weezer came up on stage in barber shop quartet garb. Huddled over one microphone, the four sang “Buddy Holly”, which elicited laughs and cheers from the crowd. Afterward, the curtain was raised, and they went on to perform over a dozen hit songs from their discography.
Unlike the Pixies, Weezer did not shy away from using the space on stage and everything the venue could offer. They went through multiple background set pieces, utilized props such as a CRT television to display a compilation of memes during their performance of “Pork and Beans”.
At one point, Cuomo came out into the audience to perform an acoustic version of “In the Garage” as well as a couple of cover songs. Of course, those were not the only cover songs that were played, as Weezer just recently released a new album consisting solely of covers, such as “Africa” by Toto, “Take on Me” by A-ha and even “No Scrubs” by TLC.
Altogether, the concert was four hours packed full of energy and fantastic music. If you’re a fan of either band, or if you like alternative rock in general, you really want to experience their live performance for yourself.