Weezer covering Toto’s classic hit “Africa” was a thing of beauty to many fans, particularly for 15-year-old Mary Klym, who spent months hitting Weezer up on social media on an almost daily basis, begging the band to do a cover of the song. Eventually, Weezer did do a Toto cover, but it wasn’t “Africa.” They trolled her back by performing “Rosanna.” Around a week later, Weezer made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the guys performed “Africa” finally, and to make it extra special, they were joined by Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro. It was one of those unexpected moments that makes television great.
As time moved forward and Weezer headed out on tour, “Africa” became a staple of their set list every show. So far, their original video release for the cover has amassed over 7 million views on YouTube, and continues to steadily climb. Considering all the live versions of the cover that have been uploaded while they are on tour that it is splitting traffic with, it’s even more impressive. In Weezer’s last show in L.A., when they got a little over halfway through “Africa,” their fans got a special treat when Weird Al Yankovic joined them on stage with his accordion fired up and ready to go. He blazed through the back-end of the song with the crowd going wild.
Their cover is more than just a goof, as it just reached No. 1 on the Billboard alternative songs chart, making it the first cover to hold the top chart position since 2004 when 311 did it with The Cure’s “Love Song.” It is also Weezer’s fourth song to top the alternative chart, along with “Pork and Beans,” which was No. 1 for 11 weeks in 2008. The group’s other chart toppers were “Perfect Situation” (four weeks, 2006) and “Beverly Hills” (one week, 2005). It will be interesting to see how long “Africa” will rule the charts, which Billboard has cited as just one hit in the band’s rejuvenation.
“The chart coronation of ‘Africa’ continues a rejuvenation for Weezer, which has scored three top 10s since the beginning of 2017 after going two-and-a-half years without a top 10. The song also jumps 4-2 on the all-rock-format Rock Airplay with 10.2 million audience impressions (up 8 percent), according to Nielsen Music. The gain is assisted by the track’s 38-37 lift on the Adult Alternative Songs chart.”
According to Rolling Stone, Weezer is close to ready to wrap up their tour with the Pixies in Phoenix this weekend with a few dates at the end of the calendar being done with a different supporting band to be announced.