The Hella Mega Tour, headlined by Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy, is aiming to be the biggest rock & roll spectacle of a summer when big rock & roll spectacles are far from a sure thing.
The tour finally kicked off in Dallas on July 24th, nearly two years after its initial announcement; on Wednesday morning, the pandemic dealt Hella Mega another curveball, forcing Fall Out Boy to miss two dates on the tour following a positive Covid test result.
Just a few hours after that distressing news broke, Weezer took the stage at New York’s Citi Field and rose to the occasion. The weather outdoors was nice, the air was breezy, and for the alt-rock fans who filled that baseball stadium, it was possible to forget the Delta variant for a little while and focus on how sweet “My Name Is Jonas” sounds echoing off the sides of a large venue. Weezer got to play a slightly longer set because of Fall Out Boy’s absence, and toward the end of their performance — right after “El Scorcho,” with its winking Green Day reference (how cool is that?) — Rivers Cuomo paused the action for a quick tribute to the band that wasn’t there.
“Let’s try this,” he said, stepping out onto the B stage nearer to the crowd and playing the opening chords of Fall Out Boy’s signature 2005 song “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” on his electric guitar.
“I didn’t bring an acoustic,” he added apologetically. “This [song] should probably be on acoustic. Does it sound okay?”
The crowd roared back and helped him out by singing along to the decade-and-a-half-old emo hit. Cuomo’s high, earnest vocals have a way of making almost any song he covers sound more tender and sympathetic — from Toto’s cheeseball “Africa” to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” — and he picked the right one with “Sugar We’re Goin Down.” Hearing him sing the lyrics originally written by Pete Wentz, with their trademark mix of self-pity and bombastic pride (“I’m just a notch in your bedpost/But you’re just a line in a song”), you could almost think you were hearing a rare Pinkerton outtake.
At press time, Fall Out Boy were still scheduled to rejoin the Hella Mega tour on August 8th in Washington, D.C. Until then, here’s video of “Sugar We’re Goin Down” — a heartfelt and generous moment, where one musician showed unity with a tourmate and with the audience as we all navigate a scary, rapidly evolving situation for live music.
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