(Photo courtesy of the extraordinary Alexis Maindrault at The Music Slut)
We really enjoyed the Weezer show at East River State Park on the Williamsburg Waterfront tonight, although we had to take it on faith that the microbe-sized dot we saw hurtling himself around the stage was Rivers Cuomo. It was his voice, though.
We were one of about fifty free riders who were not camped in cars or on ledges or just standing by the fences near the show's main entrance on Kent Avenue and North 9th Street. Instead, we were at the soccer fields at Bushwick Inlet Park.
We learned during the Faith No More concert that the sound was perfectly fine at the soccer fields and it was well-lit, not crowded, with nicer (if fake) grass than at East River State Park, more convenient portable toilets, and a cheerful sense of camaraderie. The only real disadvantage is that you have to watch sweaty, shirtless in-shape young guys playing soccer.
Our group on the southeast corner, where if you stand up on the ledge, the best view can be had,
included about a dozen people, including a tween girl with her cool parents. Mom lay down first on the grass.
It was also discovered that there is a not-so-secret passageway. Soccer players often have to go back to the land between the soccer fields and the river to retrieve the ball. We could clearly see how, by walking through two different big gaps or holes in the fences, you could get closer to the concert and perhaps to East River State Park itself.
Some kids who'd finished playing soccer noticed that the NYPD also discovered this security breach,
and from a distance we could see about eight officer went out through one passage by the river, and soon a few people started straggling back. But others went in later.
Others sat on the benches on the north side of the field, often with bikes, sometimes with food and (usually soft) drinks. Some hung out on the field, blissed out. (Twice we were asked if we had a light.)
The most organized group arrived early and picnicked on the turf on the northeast corner. They were a group of twentysomethings, all African-American, who seemed to be having a great time.
Every once in a while some of them would yell out "'Beverly Hills'!" until finally the band finally played the song, just before the encore (first one). Weezer put on a good show, as far as we could tell from our distance in physical space (and generationally: The Blue Album was released around the time we graduated law school, but we were also 43 years old then), for what Rivers Cuomo called us "denizens of Williamsburg." It felt like a party, and maybe it was more of a real one at East River State Park.
But those of us in Bushwick Inlet State Park felt we were at the show too. There was sometimes a little applause at the end of a song, and we even saw a soccer player clap at the end of Weezer's cover of "Kids."