On a chilly and calm Spring night, I made the trek up to Madison, WI to witness one of the best tours of the 2010’s -- including co-headliners Pixies and Weezer. Last summer, I had the chance to see this astonishing lineup in my hometown of South Florida. That show last June left me awestruck by both bands’ stage presence, live show, and ever-changing setlist. On March 31st, I got to relive that experience I so dearly cherished.
The first band to take the stage was British punk-rock newcomers, and recent signees to Fueled by Ramen, Basement. Though I could sense that the majority of the crowd had never heard of the band prior, Basement didn’t let the unfamiliar crowd affect their performance. They went on to hype up the crowd through their energetic set, filled with amped-up tracks. Lead vocalist, Andrew Fisher was constantly jumping around the stage, as though he was playing to a sold-out crowd of his ‘own’. The band’s positive energy was infectious and by the end of their set, the entire 10,000 seat arena was on their feet dancing along to the last few songs of Basement’s set. It can be said that Basement’s sound is a bit different from that of their tourmates, however it was refreshing to witness the band win over these Pixies and Weezer fans.
Next up was JBTV alumni, Pixies. It’s even cool to write that! One of the most influential alternative rock bands in all of music played the very stage that I walk by at work. I, personally, have always been a huge fan of Pixies. When I first began to immerse myself into different-sounding music (meaning not the typical Top 40 Hits), I soon enough stumbled upon this band. Between the band’s lyrical content, lead singer Black Francis’ unconventional singing style, and just their aura of coolness, I was instantly hooked. As a long-time fan, I definitely was not let down by the band’s diverse setlist. Incorporating tracks spanning their entire musical career, I got my fill of Pixies for the night!
The band started strong by opening with “Bone Machine”, from the fantastic sophomore release Surfer Rosa and quickly transitioned into “Gouge Away” and “No. 13 Baby” from the critically-acclaimed album Doolittle. They then continued on to include the melodic “Caribou”, the infectious “Here Comes Your Man”, and of course their undeniably most well-known song “Where Is My Mind?”.
Throughout Pixies setlist, they gave fans a treat by playing a handful of new, unreleased material, which I assume will be off of their upcoming September 2019 album. Toward the end of their set, they went on the play fan-favorites such as “U-Mass” (my favorite Pixies song), “Isla de Encanta”, “Wave of Mutilation,” and “Vamos”. Between their captivating light show and captivating live performance, once the band left the stage, the crowd was left speechless.
Finally, the third band of the night, Weezer took the stage shortly after Pixies. But before they officially took the stage, they performance a barbershop quartet version of the silly, yet infectious song “Pork and Beans”, off of the acclaimed Red Album. Soon after, they rushed to the stage, the curtain dropped, and Weezer powerfully blasting into “Buddy Holly” and by this point everyone in the crowd had a smile plastered onto their faces. Weezer is fun and humorous band, and their silly side is often conveyed to the crowd through the band’s antics and live shows. And of course shortly after, lead singer Rivers Cuomo exclaimed “Let’s take it back to Africa!” as the band covered Toto’s “Africa”, which had the crowd singing along, while also laughing at the same time. The band debuted “Tired of Sex” from cult-favorite El Scorcho to their setlist, while also playing well-known classic like “Undone”, “Island In the Sun” , “Beverly Hills”, and “My Name is Jonas”. Weezer also chose to play a wide variety of covers from their recent cover album, The Teal Album. Throughout the night they scattered songs like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, and “No Scrubs” by TLC to name a few.
By the end of the show and after Weezer played their encore, including “El Scorcho”, “Surf Wax America”, and “Say It Ain’t So”, the entire crowd was still beaming and dancing from witnessing three incredible bands. Last night’s show was definitely a memorable one and I recommend you check this co-headliner tour out!!
Check out more photos below!