By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Jul 08, 2005 at 12:34 AM

{image1} Summerfest only booked two alternative rock acts for the Marcus Amphitheater this year, and they crammed them into just one night. Fortunately, The Pixies and Weezer each delivered a show that could stand on its own Thursday. Each was inspired, plenty loud and totally tight in their one-hour sets, and both captivated an energized crowd desperate for a main stage act that spoke to their musical tastes.

The Pixies took the stage first, gliding effortlessly through a set that was mostly similar to the band's last stop in Milwaukee last November. Never mind the fact the group hasn't recorded in a decade, this second swing through town on The Pixies reunion tour didn't disappoint. Frontman Frank Black shouted, screamed and screeched through the band's entire body of work, playing tunes from all albums, though most from "Doolittle."

The Pixies hit the ground running with "Bone Machine," then jumped into the faster version of "Wave Of Mutilation." They nailed each song, including a cover of The Jesus And Mary Chain's "Head On." Just a few minutes later, they returned to the slower version of "Wave of Mutilation," which sounded just as good.

Barely pausing during this jam-packed set, Black, bassist Kim Deal, guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering rocked through more hits, including "Here Comes Your Man," "Gouge Away" and "Debaser." They closed with "Gigantic," without an encore.

Most of the audience came for Weezer, but The Pixies held their own. If anything, they gave the younger fans a brief history of the origins of alternative rock. Older, balder and chubbier, Black sounded just as good as ever. And thankfully, the music doesn't feel the least bit stale; here's to hoping The Pixies find their way back to a studio soon.

{image2} Weezer took the stage shortly after and launched right into "Say It Ain't So." Plain and simple, the Marcus Amphitheater is the venue this '90s emo-rock band was built for, but it would have been nice to a little more enthusiasm from quirky frontman Rivers Cuomo. However, despite some allegations that the band can't stand Cuomo anymore, Weezer remains the consummate professional band. In concert, they're incredibly tight.

The first few songs Weezer delivered hailed from the earlier albums, including "Undone," "Photograph" and even "El Scorcho." Cuomo almost never even acknowledges his sophomore effort, "Pinkerton," and it was a pleasant surprise to hear them play a song from that record.

Of course, the band is touring to support their new album, "Make Believe," which understandably meant they had to play a bunch of new stuff. Granted, the latest disc sounds better live than on CD, but it doesn't hold up to their old work. Their first single from the disc, "Beverly Hills" is fun and catchy, but the rest sounds like Weezer just ripped itself off.

That said, Weezer delivered an almost technically flawless performance. Only "Island In The Sun" was missing a little something, but it was barely noticeable. They wrapped up with "Buddy Holly," before a two-song encore ending with "Hash Pipe."

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.