When indie-rock’s very own Hot Hot Heat isn’t the lead act, you know you’re in for a special treat. No letdowns. No tricks. Just ‘Foozer.’
On Oct. 22 and 23, KROQ presented the Foo Fighters and Weezer, with special guest Hot Hot Heat, in concert at the Long Beach Arena.
With a bold sign declaring their presence in a white text on a black background, it was hard to mistake Hot Hot Heat for any other band Sunday night. Steve Bays, the lead vocalist and keyboardist, opened the night’s unbeatable lineup by dedicating the band’s hit ‘Talk to Me’ to ‘all the people singing in the front.’
Although every seat in the house wasn’t yet filled, as it would soon be for the Foo Fighters, the crowd came to life the moment Bays uttered the first few words of ‘Bandages,’ from Hot Hot Heat’s album ‘Make Up the Breakdown,’ released in 2002. They followed this clear-cut crowd pleaser by testing the audience with ‘You Owe Me an IOU,’ from their most recent album ‘Elevator,’ released this past April. Although this didn’t prove to be as successful as ‘Bandages,’ it nonetheless increased the enthusiasm and energy for the songs ‘No, Not Now’ and ‘Middle of Nowhere.’
Fittingly, Hot Hot Heat finished their set with ‘Goodnight Goodnight’ and a quick thank you to the audience. Their act was simple and honest. They couldn’t have done anything more.
After Hot Hot Heat cleared the stage, KROQ’s very own Stryker introduced Weezer, who, by the crowd’s reaction, did not need any such introduction.
The momentary silence before Weezer took to the stage Sunday night, was interrupted by ‘When You Wish upon a Star,’ from Disney’s classic ‘Pinocchio.’ Considering the title of their most recent album, ‘Make Believe,’ this seemingly random song actually fit quite well, especially with the star-lit backdrop that was unveiled during ‘Say It Ain’t So.’
Weezer didn’t disappoint as they played both their recent hits and the songs that made them famous.
Most notably, Rivers Cuomo, the lead vocalist and guitarist, left the main stage to perform the acoustic version of ‘Island in the Sun’ solo, in the center of the arena. This performance gave Scott Shriner, the bassist and backing vocalist, a chance to set up for ‘Undone,’ for which Shriner called an audience member up on stage to play lead guitar.
As Weezer ended their stint Sunday night with ‘Buddy Holly,’ brightly colored confetti poured down into the audience. The guys took a final bow and left the crowd more than overwhelmed. And, more than ready for the Foo Fighters.
‘We got one more band. Go crazy for the Foos. They’ll be out in just a few minutes to kill you,’ Stryker said a few moments before the Foo Fighters hit the stage.
As the lights dimmed, there was a lingering silence, which was shattered seconds later by an explosion of excitement as the Foo Fighters opened with ‘My Hero.’
‘It sounds like you guys are warmed up. Ready to sing a song with your new friend Dave? Are you ready?’ asked Dave Grohl, the lead vocalist and guitarist of the Foo Fighters.
They chose to follow this energetic opening with ‘Best of You’ and ‘Times Like These.’
In between every few songs, Grohl would pause to address the audience in an effort to generate a bit of excitement. It more than worked.
‘What is going on, everybody? You know we played here last night? I’m a little hungover. I got a tiny hangover tonight … I’m feeling a little better. I’m a little sleepy. I’m a little dizzy. But I knew that I had one mission. And that was to take a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll and shove it up your butt hole. That’s what I was going to do. Shove a little rock up your ass. Just a tiny bit. That’s what I get paid to do. That’s why I’m here,’ Grohl said.
And that’s what he did. Sunday’s show was a definite treat for any Foo Fighters or Weezer fan. Originally, Saturday night was the only scheduled performance at the Arena. However, due to the overwhelming ticket sales for Saturday’s show, which was a sold-out event, Sunday was added. And, it’s a good thing, too.