Weezer and The Smashing Pumpkins Birmingham Arena Review

Weezer and The Smashing Pumpkins Birmingham Arena Review

Weezer and The Smashing Pumpkins Birmingham Arena Review

In an era where nostalgia tours are thriving, Weezer and The Smashing Pumpkins have joined forces for a UK arena tour, kicking off at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena. For fans of 90s alternative rock, this collaboration is a dream come true, showcasing the diverse styles that defined the Gen-X alt-rock scene.

Weezer, known for their straightforward rock anthems, opened the night with “My Name Is Jonas.” Their set was a high-energy, no-frills performance, featuring hits like “Beverly Hills,” “Dope Nose,” and “Undone – The Sweater Song.” The band’s minimalist stage setup, adorned only with colorful lights and a spotlight-encrusted Weezer logo, emphasized their music over theatrics.

The crowd’s enthusiasm was palpable, with fans singing along to every word. Rivers Cuomo, the band’s frontman, kept his interactions with the audience brief but humorous, adding a local twist to “Beverly Hills” by singing “Bir-Min-g-HAM, that’s where I want to be!” The set also included a surprise cover of Hole’s “Celebrity Skin,” adding to the night’s excitement.

Weezer’s setlist was a relentless barrage of hits, including “Photograph,” “Island In The Sun,” and “Say It Ain’t So.” The band’s ability to seamlessly transition from one song to the next kept the energy high throughout their performance. The night ended on a high note with “Buddy Holly,” leaving the audience buzzing with excitement.

Following Weezer’s electrifying performance, The Smashing Pumpkins took the stage with a different approach. Billy Corgan and his bandmates delivered a set that balanced their classic hits with newer material. The Pumpkins’ sound was amplified with extra bombast, each riff and drum fill resonating with the audience.

The band’s setlist included fan favorites like “Today,” “1979,” “Tonight, Tonight,” and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” The crowd’s roars of approval echoed through the arena, highlighting the enduring appeal of these alt-rock anthems. The Pumpkins also paid homage to Birmingham’s heavy metal heritage, with guitarist James Iha strumming a verse of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.”

Despite their focus on delivering a powerful performance, The Smashing Pumpkins didn’t shy away from showcasing their newer songs. Tracks like “Beguiled” and “Empires” were met with enthusiastic headbanging from the crowd. Corgan’s son even made a cameo, dancing along to “Beguiled,” adding a personal touch to the performance.

The Pumpkins’ 24-song set spanned their three-decade career, ending with a one-two punch of “Cherub Rock” and “Zero.” The band’s energy and passion were evident, making for a memorable night that left fans eager for more.

Both Weezer and The Smashing Pumpkins demonstrated their unique strengths, offering a night of diverse musical experiences. Weezer’s infectious enthusiasm and catchy hooks contrasted with The Smashing Pumpkins’ grandiose, bombastic sound. Together, they created a night that celebrated the rich tapestry of 90s alternative rock, leaving fans with a sense of nostalgia and excitement for the future.

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