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Credit: Marybel Le Pape

Music

The moment when Weezer opened for Keanu Reeves' band Dogstar

Keanu Reeves is a living legend of cult status. Having starred in The Matrix, one of the most iconic movie franchises of all time, veered into arthouse cinema in My Own Private Idaho, and appeared in the video game Cyberpunk: 2077, seemingly, there is nothing that he cannot do.

One facet of Reeves’ character that makes him so endearing is that he is an obsessive music lover. A huge fan of punk bands such as Bad Brains and Fugazi, Reeves is one of the biggest celebrity Joy Division fans on the planet. Considering he is such a huge music consumer, there’s no real surprise that the actor also has a penchant to play music himself.

An avid lover of the bass, Reeves has constantly cited Joy Division and ex-New Order bassist Peter Hook as his four-stringed hero. “It’s kind of a bass line but a melody line,” he explained to Rolling Stone in 2000. “And kind of romantically epic, in a gothic kind of way.”

Sometime in 1991, when Reeves was basking in his newfound fame after starring as Ted in Bill and Ted, he formed the band Dogstar. The bassist and backing vocalist of the group, it was due to Reeves that the band managed to go on tour and even play in Japan. One of the more successful endeavours by an actor turned musician, they split up in 2002. 

From Fugazi to Joy Division: Keanu Reeves’ favourite bands

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Dogstar also played with two of the hottest bands on the LA circuit in the early ’90s, Rancid and Weezer. It turns out that power-pop legends Weezer actually played their first show supporting Dogstar in 1992. By 1994, they’d found a huge level of success with the release of their eponymous debut and singles such as ‘Buddy Holly’ and ‘Undone’. 

In a 2015 trip down memory lane with Vice, Dogstar’s drummer Rob Mailhouse remembered the Weezer show: “But check this out. The first gig we did was at this place called Rodgies in Los Angeles – it was this dump-y, but very cool club – and Weezer opened up for us,” he said. “I’ll never forget them, really nice guys. I actually ended up becoming friends with the bass player and he played bass in another band I was in. There were maybe 60 people, most of whom were our friends, and the reaction was like (unenthusiastic) ‘yayyy'”.

It is sure that Weezer would have found fame without playing that show with Dogstar, however, the thought of witnessing Keanu Reeves and Weezer on the same bill sounds simply delightful. That wasn’t the end of the road for Reeves and Weezer, either. In 2020, Weezer’s single ‘Beginning of the End (Wyld Stallyns Edit)’ was the lead single for the soundtrack of Bill and Ted Face the Music

Watch the video for ‘Beginning of the End (Wyld Stallyns Edit)’