The power a joke Twitter account can have is truly astounding. In December 2017, a Weezer fan created the Twitter account @weezerafrica, the sole mission of which was to get Weezer to cover Toto’s timeless hit “Africa,” a song that people seem to love ironically but also in a very genuine way. In May, the band actually responded to the campaign… with a cover of “Rosanna,” a Toto song that has no references to blessing rains of any sort. A few days later, Weezer fulfilled the dreams of @weezerafrica and finally released their version of “Africa.”
Now, they’ve brought the song to TV: Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, they performed “Africa,” and to make it extra special, Toto’s Steve Porcaro briefly joined the band for the keyboard solo before giving the crowd a wave and leaving the stage. Rivers Cuomo seemed to be reading the lyrics off the laptop on the stool in front of him, but my guess is that he’s shaky on the exact wording because he probably didn’t think their cover would take off like it has, so he didn’t spend much time on memorization. Whatever the case, their performance soared just like their studio version did, and this truly is one of the best Twitter jokes in recent memory.
Their recording of the song has turned out to be a surprise hit: Weezer had multiple songs earn spots on the Alternative Songs, Mainstream Rock, and Hot Rock Songs charts over the past decade, but “Africa” is the band’s first track to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 since “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” did in 2009.
In other Weezer news, today is Cuomo’s birthday, and what better way to celebrate then by taking time to do the things we never have?
Watch Weezer perform “Africa” above. They also performed “Buddy Holly,” so check that out below.