Never mind whether or not Weezer will perform “Africa” in concert Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center (you can bet your Urban Outfitters-branded Toto T-shirt they will). Old-school fans want to know if the band will play anything off “Pinkerton,” the 23-year-old sophomore album whose appreciation from the masses -- and from Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo -- himself has always been tepid. But some Weezer fans, cultish power-pop lovers and even a few critics (like this one) rank it as one of the best rock albums of the 1990s.
“It’s really not that complicated anymore,” bassist Scott Shriner insisted of the band’s relationship to the album.
The songs on “Pinkerton,” including “Tired of Sex,” “Getchoo” and “Across the Sea,” were famously written during a troubled time in Cuomo’s personal life, as he struggled with fame and mental health and seemed a tad perverted as well as introverted. For those reasons, and for the fact that the record never did all that well commercially, Weezer has been standoffish about “Pinkerton” on tour. Not one song off the album made the set list for the band’s last Twin Cities performance at the Basilica Block Party in 2015. And just one (“El Scorcho”) was featured in its 2010 Basilica set.
Shriner, however, chalked up those omissions to the settings of those gigs — not to any lingering bad feelings.
“Festival gigs like that are not the kind of place you pull out songs like those,” he explained. “On this tour, we’re playing to people who know us a lot better. And especially with the Pixies being on this tour, it makes a lot more sense going back to those songs and that era.”
“We’re all proud of that album, including Rivers,” Shriner added. “We’re proud it has the kind of status it has with some fans.”