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Arts & Music

Weezer has plenty to pick from at St. Pete concert

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Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 12:32 AM

When Weezer goes on tour there is no shortage of songs for the power-pop quartet to cull their set list from. With eight top 10 albums under their belt, and a career approaching the end of its second decade, the geek rock icons are officially prolific.

But with more crowd-pleasing material than they could possible pack into a single show, what will Weezer play when they take the stage Friday at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater? It will cost you the price of a ticket to find out, but we definitely have our hopes up for a few certain songs.

In honor of the upcoming show, we've combed through Weezer's catalog to pluck out our favorite track from each album. Here is our ultimate Weezer concert set list. Let the rabid fan debate begin.

"My Name Is Jonas" from "Weezer" (The Blue Album) – Picking just one song off of Weezer's 1994, multi-platinum debut is hands down the most difficult choice on this entire list. The album contains classics like "Say It Ain't So," probably the band's most lyrically powerful song, and "Buddy Holly," the track that inspired the Fonzie-rific "Happy Days" video that got Weezer its early buzz. But when the acoustic intro to "Jonas" gives way to Rivers Cuomo's power chord onslaught, it shivers the spine every single time.

"Tired of Sex" from "Pinkerton" – "Tired of Sex" gets the nod here because it is the most Pinkerton-ish of all the songs on "Pinkerton," which is to say it's the most enjoyably disturbing, melancholy and weird song on an album that is an absolute masterpiece of disturbing, melancholy and weird pop rock. Also, it's probably the only time Cuomo let's out anything like a hardcore punk scream. Still, "Pinkerton" is best taken as a whole, which is why Weezer has been playing a series of "Memories" shows where they play the album in its entirety.

"Hash Pipe" from "Weezer" (The Green Album) – The guitar riff sounds like a sped up version of the suspense music from "Jaws" and the lyrics are wailed in a pitch that makes dogs freak out, but it all comes together for a great rock song - the hardest-rocking song in a very good collection of songs. And that is what you want in a live show, something that rocks hard.

"Dope Nose" from "Maladroit" – "Maladroit" was the first Weezer album that had some really forgettable throwaway songs, but the good ones were just as good as anything else they've produced. "Dope Nose" is the standout, an upbeat, feel-good, romper with a cool guitar solo in the middle. This is the kind of song that gets a crowd jumping up and down.

"Perfect Situation" from "Make Believe" – This song is Cuomo wallowing in all of his low-self-esteem lyrical glory, instantly relatable to anyone who's ever just straight-up blown it with a love interest who was out of their league. Plus the song is perfect for singing along to at a concert, even if you don't know the lyrics. Listen to the epic, "whooah-ohh" in the chorus and try not picture thousands of fans singing along at the top of their lungs.

"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" from "Weezer" (The Red Album) – It's been described as the "Bohemian Rhapsody" of Weezer songs, and for good reason. The song, which clocks in at over five minutes, has the band on a musical journey of Cuomo faux-rapping over gentle piano tinkerings to singing a soul ballad over acoustic guitars, to harmonizing a capella with a choir, to leading a full-throttle, pop-punk climax. It will be interesting to see how a song with this many turns gets recreated live.

"(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" from "Raditude" – When "Raditude" came out, things got a little ugly for hardcore fans who longed for the heart-on-their-sleeve Weezer of the "Pinkerton" days. It was a lot of jokey song titles and head-scratching choices that made you wonder if they were being sarcastic (such as "Can't Stop Partying" featuring Lil' Wayne). But there were a couple tracks that redeemed it (slightly), and this catchy, toe-tapper was one of them.

"Unspoken" from "Hurley" – "Unspoken" is the rare acoustic ballad from Weezer, and it's the kind of song they should consider doing more often. The band seamlessly pulls together strings and flute into the sparse track, before the rest of the band kicks in at the end for a rocking reverse breakdown. It's also the rare chance for Patrick Wilson to go wild on the drums, another thing that should happen more often.

Weezer

Where: The Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st St. South,  St. Petersburg

When: Friday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $29.50 - $99


Christopher Spata, cspata@tbo.com, @CSpataTBO

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