Though only able to catch the end of their set, Weezer were a small slice of joy to behold on an otherwise extremely wet and muddy Sunday afternoon at T in the Park. Hash Pipe still maintains the superb grinding directness that it possessed when first released as a single, and their cover of Radiohead's Paranoid Android is surprisingly faithful and provides the requisite mid-song singalong moment.
Then it was onto the glorious pop-rock of Buddy Holly which finished up in a multi-member drum-off as frontman Rivers Cuomo proved to be an esoteric but strangely affable host, apparently earlier leaping into the crowd complete with nerdy poncho, and also later debating whether we use the word 'wicked' as a compliment over in Scotland. Well, to answer his question, Weezer's performance on the Main Stage today was certainly wicked.
Then some brutal drum-and-guitar interplay with Bronto Skylift on the BBC Introducing Stage, the bare-bones outfit from the Highlands suitably coruscating as the percussion crashed away and heavy rock riffs threatened to demolish a small section of the T in the Park festival site. It was just the right time for a little bit of destructive power.
My Chemical Romance were next on the Main Stage. It's easy to trash the American pop-rockers for apparently being mopey or sullen with their emo leanings, but in truth the bright red-haired singer Gerard Way and his compatriots were a barrel-load of fun, and are also are blessed with a great ear for a tune or 10.
Anyway, they're not even so readily identifiable as 'emo' nowadays anyway, Planetary (GO!)'s uplifting stomp more akin to The Killers. "This is the show that we've been waiting for," proclaimed Gerard, and though it was difficult to quite believe that statement (especially while surveying the swampland that were performing in front of), MCR certainly played with enough conviction that you could countenance that that was indeed the case.
The material from most recent album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys has more of that synth-led stadium-rock gleam about it (with a good bit of rock 'n' roll also thrown in), but it still sat well against the uproarious likes of Teenagers, which showed the band had always been partial to the celebratory anthem or two. With Way naming all the other acts playing on the Main Stage, it's telling that they weren't at all out of place on a line-up including Blondie, Pulp, Foo Fighters and the aforementioned Weezer; My Chemical Romance prove themselves to be an entirely welcome addition to this star-packed bill.
Welcome To The Black Parade provided a welcome singalong, and they even paid tribute to acclaimed Scottish comic book writer Grant Morrison and his partner before launching into a grinding DESTROYA. This is a band easily able to outlast any momentary trends and have the potential for some real staying power. (Oh, plus they're loads of fun too, which never hurts.) Indeed, for a time and place such as this you could rightly say they're more than the equal of the likes of Radiohead or U2, it's just a question of when (or if) others will catch on.