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Rivers Cuomo

Weezer Lead Singer/Guitarist Rivers Cuomo Performs Hit Cover of Toto’s “Africa” at SMC Homecoming 2018

 Story from The Corsair, written by Brenna Spalding

Hundreds of Santa Monica College students and alumni gathered in the stands of the SMC football stadium awaiting the performance of Rivers Cuomo, lead singer of the band Weezer, a musical alumni group.

The halftime announcer, Steve Chiotakis, a news anchor on local radio station KCRW, presented the group with unparalleled enthusiasm. “SMC and KCRW are excited to introduce our halftime entertainment,” Chiotakis began. “The all-star SMC alum and faculty band is just that, it’s a band made up of some pretty distinguished and talented SMC alumni.” 


Chiotakis went on to announce musicians; Jason Pitts, Kevin O’Neal, Sang Hee Cho, Ricky Amadour and Cuomo himself. The crowd roared as they awaited Cuomo to take center stage.

Cuomo’s presence brought numerous people to the homecoming game. One attendee, an alumni student named Deborah Gunn, attended solely for the halftime performance. When asked what brought her to the game, Gunn excitedly stated, “I was looking to see Rivers.” Gunn certainly wasn’t alone in her interest. Joseph Sperry, a current student at SMC admitted “I’m not gonna lie, I came for Weezer.”

Students Sandy Jimenez and Megan Gomez decided to come out to the homecoming game originally to support SMC, but Gomez explained that Cuomo’s appearance was all the more appealing. “[Jimenez] told me that the guy from Weezer was going to be here and I thought, ‘Okay, now we have to go.’” said Gomez.

During the show, many viewers danced and cheered in delight. Sperry noted, “I thought it was great, I think it’s really cool that Rivers Cuomo came out here… he seemed like he was having a good time and we were all having a really good time.” Sperry continued, “As a fan of Weezer and as a fan of music in general, I loved it.” Another student, Marcelo Maya, stated, “It was a great show, great people, I love SMC.”


The fellow performers alongside Cuomo were enthralled by his energy. Kevin O’Neal, a music professor at SMC and bassist during the halftime show stated, “I had a blast.” He described his experience performing with Cuomo by stating, “He came in at the last minute, but he was as sweet as can be.”

As Cuomo sang the final notes of the iconic 80s rock song, the tremendous applauding began. Cuomo waved his hand in the air in spirit and humbly exited the stage, leaving hundreds of people enchanted by the performance. 

Thanks to all the alums and volunteers who helped make this event happen!

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