Music » Critics' Picks

Weezer with Tenacious D and Jimmy Eat World

Thursday, Nov. 29; Family Arena


The scene: the cafeteria of a typical suburban high school, 1988. The camera pulls in close on a young Rivers Cuomo, a sensitive, frail, artistic boy with a tender and delicate soul. He is a secretive little enigma/poet who writes elliptical love songs to the unnamed girl of his dreams. Hunched over his spiral notebook, he is all but invisible in the crush of students. But today will be different. Today he will be recognized for his special nature.Palms sweating, mouth dry, argyle sweater-vest iron-lung-tight enough to keep his breathing shallow and rapid, Rivers approaches her from behind. He mentally runs through his 800-plus-page songbook, rejecting all his previous work. Today he will speak from the heart, letting the words of love and longing pour forth untamed. His eyes dewy with anxious fuzzy yearning, he clears his throat, and she turns towards him, seeing him, really seeing him for the first time, with his tousled hair and smudged glasses and bleating heart; as their eyes meet in the long roaring vertigo of hormonal want, Rivers chokes back a desperate sob and runs from the cafeteria, leaving her alone and awkward. Hiding himself in the woods behind the school, he churns out another 17 songs for her that she will never hear, all the while promising himself that someday she will know the depth of his love.

Meanwhile, in the smoking lounge, Jack Black watches "Quivers Homo"'s hasty retreat with delicious mirth. Jack laughs so hard and long that he squeezes out a steamy gravy fart that ruins yet another pair of Chewbacca Underoos. Unconcerned with his latest accident, he continues trying to come up with a bad-ass name for his new Dungeons & Dragons character, a half-orc cleric/assassin. Once again he settles on "Dio" and reassures himself that someday the world will bow down before the might of his creative genius.

Thirteen years later, the two cross paths again at the St. Charles Family Arena. Now Rivers is a dreamy pop idol fronting Weezer (pictured), and Jack is a quasi-rock star (Tenacious D) who dabbles in film. Inside each man remains the awkward nerd still trying to recover from the four-year sentence that is the American high school. The crowd loves them, the media adores them, but still, after the show, both men will head back to the hotel with the same date they had in high school: faithful, beloved Right Hand Rosie. Tonight, just like every night, no nerd gets laid.

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