The Weezer DVD: Video Capture Device was released on Tuesday, and having watched all three hours or so of footage over the past two days I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Weezer has always been a big deal to me, the Detroit stop of the blue album tour was one of my first unaccompanied concerts at the tender age of 14 (Bonus: Archers of Loaf opened the bill). I bought all their import singles on my grocery-bagger’s wages, and saw them every time they came through town – I’ve written here before about how their reunion tour in 2000 played a weird role in my life:
“The morning of the show was my grandmother’s funeral in Buffalo, New York. After the funeral and the following lunch with extended family, my brother and I set off across Canada towards Detroit, while my parents remained in Buffalo. I had no idea that two months later I would be attending his funeral, and though it may have seemed slightly crass at the time to leave a funeral for a rock concert, I’ve been grateful ever since that we had that last little excursion together.”
If you were a fan in the pre-comeback years, you’ll love what Weezer documentarian Karl Koch has put together: a very thorough, chronological portrait of the development of the band. Coming from someone who is obsessed with all things archival, that’s high praise.
There are some really great moments on the DVD, including GREAT documentary footage on the making of each album (except Maladroit… what gives?), and a touching Rivers solo performance of ‘Mykel and Carli’ at the memorial held in honor of Weezer fanclub mavens Mykel and Carli Allan (Mykel is the voice you hear in the second verse of ‘Undone’ – Mykel, Carli, and their sister Trysta passed away in an auto accident en route to a Weezer show).
Unsurprisingly, I do have a few complaints.
1.) Content choice:
When I first got on the internet, I was all about tape trading, especially music video, and one of the first tapes I traded for was a 6 hour VHS tape of assorted Weezer footage. It had all sorts of stuff: all the blue album videos, tons of TV appearances, live footage, public access cable shows that they had hosted, etc etc. Because of this tape, I’m something of an afficianado of Weezer video footage. My main complaint is that the only TV appearance they included was the not-so-hot Letterman performance of ‘Say it Ain’t So.’ They did ‘Undone’ on several Television shows (120 Minutes, the original Jon Stewart show, and at least one other) and the improv spoken word bits they did on each performance would have made a nice montage. Also included on the DVD is MTV fluff like the Buddy Holly MTV News story, but the classic Kenendy / Rivers standoff on the MTV top ten video countdown is nowhere to be found.
A lot of the ‘B-roll’ segments feature behind-the-scenes footage edited together with the original audio replaced by a weezer song. I would have rather had the audio to go with all that raw footage, but I’m insane like that.
These are minor concerns – the finished product is truly impressive, a whopping three hours of footage, much of it with optional commentary. The DVD is $9.99 at Best Buy this week, so it’s a no brainer.