Double-booked

Kathy Griffin, Orpheum Theatre, 10/3/08 7:00 p.m.

Weezer, Xcel Energy Center, 10/3/08 7:00 p.m.

Notice the problem above? Other than cloning ourselves or defying the space-time continuum, we would not be able to be in two places at once. Due to a complete lapse in memory when we were buying the Weezer tickets, we didn’t realize that we already had Kathy Griffin tickets for the same night. Rather than trading the KG tickets for a different show (she was doing 5 different shows at the Orpheum over several days), or selling one of the pairs (it was a down market, to say the least) we decided to try to attend both events.

Kathy’s set was hilarious, as usual. It was part listening to your girlfriend dish the latest gossip, and part revival, considering the crowd’s adulation. We went “from Palin to Gaiken and back again,” as she promised at the beginning of the show. Our timing was excellent: the Vice Presidential debate had occurred the night before, and that week People magazine had featured Clay Aiken with his shocking proclamation that he liked dudes.

She told several endearing and funny stories about her mother, always featuring the box of wine. She also shared a play-by-play of the Schmemmys (the creative arts Emmys), as well as the actual Emmys. Kathy kept going on tangents during the story, dishing about the Lohans in particular. The show went until 9:15, but the time flew by. We were surprised she went a bit over, considering that the next show began at 10:00.

We were still laughing as we rushed to our car to catch what we could of Weezer’s set. We missed the two opening acts (Tokyo Police Club and Angels and Airwaves), although we’d heard really bad things about the latter so we weren’t too upset. We arrived just in time to see Tom and the drummer from Angels and Airwaves join Weezer on “Undone (The Sweater Song).”

We were thrilled that people hadn’t taken our seats despite our late arrival– they were still wide open and we didn’t have an altercation. (It was better that the Xcel gig was second– there were some major seating mixups in the two rows in front of us at the Orpheum due to the weird labeling of the chairs.)

Unfortunately, we missed the beginning of the set which included “Perfect Situation,” “My Name Is Jonas,” and “Say It Ain’t So.” This might have affected our perception of the pacing, but for some reason it seemed a little off. There were long gaps between songs, and the show didn’t seem to find a steady rhythm. The mosh pit was still pretty crazy, but subdued compared to the last show we saw when Weezer opened for the Foo Fighters on the Foozer tour. There had been bodies flying everywhere, and it was fascinating to watch. There were still a large number of people crowd surfing, but it seemed to be concentrated in one section of the floor rather than permeating the entire GA section. I also wondered if the band was a little disappointed at the turnout. The upper levels were completely empty, and the lower level was only about 75% full.

The crowd responded well to the new album, especially “Pork and Beans.” They threw in a cover of “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory” by Oasis, which has me excited for our next rock gig in December. The band switched lead duties around, and all of the band members got to take a turn on lead vocals. They were dressed in matching red tracksuits with “Weezer” on the back, and their look was very late ’70s/early ’80s especially with the moustache Rivers was sporting.

The first encore consisted of a hootenanny with local musicians on everything from the kazoo to the accordion to the washboard to the oud, which looked like a large lute. (Coincidentally, I’d like to add that all the preceding instruments rock so much harder than the flute, which has no place in rock and/or roll. But that’s a subject for a different time.) The band and the 50-odd people on stage played “Island in the Sun” and “Beverly Hills.”

The show ended with “Buddy Holly” and it was the highest point the band and the crowd had been at all night. Again, maybe it was us missing the first part of the show and all the rushing to get there, but I was left wishing the rest of the set had been that energetic.

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