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Weezer draws record crowd to Oval

With the new Ohio Union as a backdrop, thousands of students braved intermittent showers and muggy weather Friday night to rock out to rock act Weezer as part of the Ohio Union Activities Board’s annual Welcome Week concert.

Taking the stage on the South Oval 37 minutes after opening acts Town Monster and Chelsea Automatic wrapped up, the band came out to eager patrons. The band opened with “Hash Pipe” before continuing on to play most of its familiar tunes.

Weezer’s 17-song set included hits “Troublemaker,” “Sweater” and “Holiday.” The band also performed “Memories,” the first single from the band’s latest album, “Hurley,” which hit stores Sept. 14.

Charismatic lead singer Rivers Cuomo tossed water and beach balls into the crowd and even perched himself on the stage’s scaffolding while performing.

During the rendition of “Beverly Hills,” Cuomo left the stage and strolled around the 12th Avenue side of the South Oval before perching himself on a hospitality tent in the middle of the crowd. Cuomo then slowly crowd surfed back to the stage in his first crowd surfing attempt “in many, many years,” according to the band’s MySpace blog.

“Come on, you guys,” Cuomo pleaded to the audience members pushing him along. “Almost there!”

Weezer finished the show with a cover medley of MGMT’s “Kids” and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” before an encore of “(If You’re Wondering if I Want You To) I Want You To” and a rousing version of “Buddy Holly,” which ended with all the band members taking to the drum set.

More than 10,000 people attended the show, making it more popular than the 2008 show on the South Oval featuring The Roots and Billy Currington, said Linnea Larson, OUAB concert chair.

“The Welcome Week concert … was among the highest attended OUAB events in recent years,” she said in an e-mail.

After the show, some concert-goers said they were in awe.

“They were awesome live,” said first-year Phil Goerig about Weezer’s performance. “I was impressed.”

Samantha Glasser, a first-year in history who described herself as “a little bit” of a Weezer fan before the concert, left pleasantly surprised.

“I didn’t think they would be that good live,” she said.

Valerie Goerig, a fourth-year in hospitality management, also enjoyed the show.

“It was amazing,” she said.

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