Last week I saw Cinderella in concert, up close, I might add. While trying to enjoying the hair metal I also had to worry about the drunk next to me, behind me, and in front of me. Plus, that one guy that crowd surfed…oh, and the fight that broke out a few people away. Then there was that fat woman that kept rubbing up against me trying to push herself to the front. And I paid to see Cinderella.
This time it was a little different
One week later I found myself sitting at a Weird Al Yankovic concert and it was quite a different story. The concert was 100% entertaining and enjoyable and free of worry. There were no drunks to speak of and no crowd surfing. Can’t say the same about a lack of fat people, but at least they weren’t rubbing up next to me. I don’t have a problem with fat people, just drunk fat people.
Weird Al came to town a couple years ago and I passed, somewhat regretting my choice. I mean, this is Weird Al. I’ve been listening to him for 25 years. He’s practically an institution…and this concert showed why. I’ve seen a lot of concerts in recent years – old bands and new bands – but I can safely say that Weird Al is the hardest working entertainer in music.
I say this because there were no less than a dozen costume changes during the show. And I’m not just talking about Al, the whole band. He started with typical Weird Al attire, a crazy shirt, but quickly moved into his Nirvana look, jungle cruise, Devo, longue singer, Michael Jackson, Amish guy, rapper, Jim Morrison, and of course, Star Wars. It was almost exhausting just seeing them switch between each song.
Thankfully, between each costume change there was an “Al TV” video shown that was equally as hilarious. Al knows how to keep people entertained, that’s for sure. He didn’t disappoint in the song department either. He has 25+ years of material and he covered a good range, from older ones like “You Make Me” to his most recent polka montage. Al’s ability to make people laugh really hit me when I started to hear songs I didn’t know, more recent pop crap. I wouldn’t know a Justin Beiber song if it kicked me the stones, but Al’s lyrics are enough to have fun. Of course, if you know the song it’s twice as funny but at no time do you feel you don’t “get it”.
And lets just say the audience was a little different than most of the concerts I’ve been too as well. Weird Al’s “White & Nerdy” pretty much summed up the crowd quite well, except for the two black people that were spotted. And the t-shirts…oh the t-shirts…you’ve never seen more nerd novelty t-shirts in your life. I saw everything from your token Star Wars shirt to Chuck Norris to Slurm to Nintendo and even a shirt claiming its owner has “+10 charisma”. Of course, with all this said I don’t claim to be any different. I sported my favorte concert-going nerd shirt…and I’m white…and nerdy.
The man knows what you want
He did his first ending on “Fat” while dancing around in his trademark fat suit. But that wasn’t enough. He then came out for the encore all Jedi’ed up a pair of Star Wars songs, which made the crowd go wild. He was also accompanied by a small pack of Stormtroopers and even Darth Vader danced a jig to a sing-a-long of “Yoda”.
As stupid as it sounds, I feel like I’ve crossed off one of my bucket list items. Seeing Weird Al. It’s not one I would have listed without thinking real hard about it, but while sitting at the concert laughing with a couple hundred other people I realized how important Weird Al might just be to our culture. With all the lip-synced pop shows and drunked up metal concerts, you need a break every now and then, and Weird Al has been that break for 30 years…and honestly, he can probably keep this up until the day he dies. It’s clear he has fun doing a live show and you know he’ll never be short of music to mock.