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Foo Fighters; Weezer

Co-headlining has forced alt-rock vets Foo Fighters and Weezer to up the ante for each other. As the tour comes to a close, both bands appear to be in top form and deserve credit not just as nostalgia acts but current rock forefathers.

Cast:
Bands: Foo Fighters: Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett;
Weezer: Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Pat Wilson, Scott Shriner.

Co-headlining has forced alt-rock vets Foo Fighters and Weezer to up the ante for each other. As the tour comes to a close, both bands appear to be in top form and deserve credit not just as nostalgia acts but current rock forefathers.

The Foo Fighters continue their streak of consistent, muscular performances. Dave Grohl, the ex-drummer for Nirvana, is such an affable, friendly front man — and his songs so dynamically dramatic — that every time the band breaks its choruses down into hand-muted guitar-and-drum builds, it feels like the first time the band’s ever prepared to explode. When the explosions finally come, they always feel perfectly executed and propulsive.

Grohl’s a natural rock star, using the whole stage to his advantage; as the band played through “Best of You” and the fiery “Stacked Actors,” he ran the length of the stage, beckoning the audience to participate. The Foo Fighters understand that a chunky guitar pedal and a great melody is sometimes all it takes to inspire mass catharsis.

Weezer — fronted by Rivers Cuomo, often one of the least assuming (and least exciting) icons of modern rock — seemed like a new band, not just playing through their repertoire but actually having a good time doing it for a change.

Instead of the contemplative and, let’s face it, boring side seen at this year’s Coachella, the new, improved Cuomo headbangs, throws his hands in the air in victory salutes and even sometimes hands off guitar duties to come to the front of the stage and do a herky-jerky indie rock dance.

The band’s songs were re-worked throughout: “Don’t Let Go” was introduced with Cuomo’s bragging about it being new wave, and the new, funky moog keyboard intro proved it. Later, Cuomo appeared in the middle of the arena to play “Island in the Sun” acoustic, playing to the nosebleeds in a sign of band/audience solidarity — an aesthetic continued when the group invited an audience member onstage to play acoustic guitar on “Undone (The Sweater Song).”

Foo Fighters; Weezer

Long Beach Arena; 13,500 capacity; $39.50 top

Production: Presented by KROQ and Goldenvoice. reviewed Oct. 22, 2005. Opened and closed Oct. 23.

Cast: Bands: Foo Fighters: Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett;
Weezer: Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Pat Wilson, Scott Shriner.

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