When Weezer hit Late Show with David Letterman in August 1995, the dust had settled on the grunge-fueled, alternative rock shake-up that rearranged popular music in the first half of the decade. The band was over a year into promoting its celebrated debut and visited the show to perform their third single, “Say It Ain’t So.”
River Cuomo’s stage presence is far from involved; a casual viewer flipping through channels could have been forgiven for mistaking bassist Matt Sharp as the lead singer of the band. But what Cuomo lacked in stage presence, he made up for in pant size: he gives Letterman—at the time known for sporting huge khaki slacks—a run for his money.
Regardless, when we hit the chorus, as was so often the case in those days, things get loud and the band practically jumps through the screen. They own the crowd by the time they get to the bridge, with its climactic declaration of, “like father, stepfather, the son is drowning in the flood…”