Reviews

Take Offs and Landings

Author: Lauren Korduner
08/14/2001 | New University | Album Review
Nothing is better than leaving a show knowing that it was better than you had ever imagined it could be.

I was fortunate to acquire tickets to one of the acts that has been selling out venues all over Los Angeles. Much to the delight of nerds across the country, this band, called Goat Punishment, played a series of shows in December in the many intimate L.A. venues. No idea who I am talking about, right? Would the name Weezer ring a bell?

Yes, nerds gathered from far and wide to see Goat Punishment, also known as Weezer, pack the Knitting Factory on Dec. 30. I met someone who took a Greyhound from Ohio to come to this tiny venue to see Weezer perform.

As Rivers and the guys took the stage, the assemblage of nerds turned into a sea of bodies, swaying back and forth as individuals attempted to hold their footing. Weezer's one hour set mainly consisted of old favorites from the self-titled "blue" album, such as "Buddy Holly," "Undone (the Sweater Song)" and "Say it Ain't So" in addition to songs that didn't make the radio back in 1994 such as, "No One Else" and "Only in Dreams."

The crowd hungered for more as the final riffs of the last song lingered in the air. When the band left the stage, the audience chanted, "GP! GP!" Goat Punishment reappeared for its one-song encore and guitarist Brian Bell murmured into the mic, "This one's off 'Pinkerton'" and the crowd roared again.

Though the crowd had gathered to see Weezer, opening bands Ozma and Rilo Kiley made the show complete. Ozma, a Pasadena-based band, has a poppy punk sound which combines a Weezer-esque sound with old-school eighties punk.

With a modest following, the celebrated underdog of the evening would have to be Rilo Kiley. The band opened with a revitalized version of their song "Always" which began with drummer Dave Rock pelting the drum skins with a rhythmic ferocity. Bassist Pierre de Reeder and guitarist Blake Sennett joined in for an extended instrumental intro to the song with Jenny Lewis adding sweet notes played by a hand-held Casio keyboard.

The band's unique sound blends genres such as indie rock and pop reminiscent of old '50s ballads. Lead vocalist Jenny Lewis demonstrated much versatility as she switched from keyboards to guitar to bass.

I was most impressed with Lewis' vocals, which begin as a gentle cooing but evolve into a passionate outpouring of emotion. The band's dynamic performance was not overshadowed by the headlining band and though the Weezer show in March at the Palladium is sold out, you should be able to catch this Los Angeles-based band at the Silver Lake Lounge on Jan. 10.