Wednesday, November 11, 2009


When I was 12 I heard this band for the first time. I didn't understand it, and I moved on.

A few months later an older girl who I had a crush on, and lived on my street had a copy of it. I mentioned that I heard one of the songs on it, but I thought it was weird. And she said, "Oh no, this is really good." I listened to the entire album, and I still thought the song about dogs and sweaters was really weird, but I liked a lot of the rest of it.

My brother and I didn't hang out very often outside of family functions. He was almost 3 years older than me, so a year later when he was going to the American Theater, which to this day I have no idea where in St. Louis it was(it's long since closed), to see this band, I asked him, begged him to take me. He relented only after I said, for my birthday- originally he was going to take me to see Sponge and Letters to Cleo on my actual birthday. So we changed plans.

It was my first concert without adult supervision. It was magical. During the slow song, I looked around the venue, and everything was moving in slow motion. Cool.

When their second album came out, I bought it the day it came out, and on my first listen, the last song made me cry. I went to school the next day and talked about it with the girl I was into at the time, she bought it too.

I saw them on that tour, I was shoved up against the stage. Only my friend Cameron in front of me. To my right there was a punk rock girl, black hair, bangs, dark eyeliner, spiked bracelet, and a 7-11 button up shirt. It was spectacular.

I saw them one more time, they opened for No Doubt. I didn't go to see the headliner. Their opening set was epic. It was loud, it was fast, at the end they destroyed their instruments, it was the most amazing 45 minute set that I have ever seen. The whole time, I was conscious of that moment for the band. A couple of them already had other projects. The bassist had a project he fronted that had a weird moog throwback hit on MTV. On the stage, he was mesmerizing, and just oozed charisma. After the show I said to my brother, "At some point he is going to want to be a front man, and that's going to end the band."

That's exactly what happened.

They had two fantastic records, and I got to see them 3 times. Even before Conor, they were my gateway drug.

Four years later I was in Santa Fe going to college. I was sitting in the cafeteria my first week, when a striking blond with pink tips saw my shirt and said that they were playing a show in Albuquerque. She said I should go with her and her redhead friend. I couldn't make this up.

We drove an hour to get there, and we got a little lost in Albuquerque itself, but we got there.

The original bassist was gone, but everyone else was there. It was a great show, but it wasn't the same. The swagger was gone. Even the music suffered. That slow song from the first album, the one that made everything in slow motion, it has a loud meandering bass line, and he sped through it. Played it too fast. It was a lot of fun regardless. For one more night, I had one of my favorite bands back. I was up front again, and I knew all the words.

That band was weezer. They've retroactively damaged their earlier work.