So... wanna hear about it? Of course ya do!!
Al stormed the stage at 8 on the dot with the "Polkaface" medley from the Alpocalypse album. They did another number and then the stage went dark while Al and the band (John "Bermuda" Schwartz, Jim West, Ruben Valtierra, and Steven Jay) did the first of their many costume changes. The intermittent periods are filled with various Al videos, such as his "interviews" with celebrities like Eminem and Umma Thurman, his recent "5-Second Films" series and the "Weird" trailer that FunnyOrDie.com released a few years ago. There was even the "Dirt" documentary!
|"A garage band from Seattle.|
Well it sure beats raising cattle."
From there it was a series of many of Al's more recent works, such as "Skipper Dan", "Party at the CIA" (a parody of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA") and "Canadian Idiot" (Al's parody of "American Idiot" by Green Day). Al and the band were dressed in their finest secret agent finery for "Party at the CIA" and Al was perfectly resplendent in a red-and-white maple-leaf motifed jacket for "Canadian Idiot" (the climax of which saw red and white streamers violently fired into the air above the audience). My favorite of this set was when Al did "CNR": his White Stripes style parody about Charles Nelson Reilly. I had a picture of Reilly loaded up on my iPad and was holding it aloft and waving it as Al sang! Alas he didn't see me but later it turned out to be a good thing that I did that (find out why later).
|"You're absolutely perfect. Don't speak now you might spoil it.|
Your eyes are even blue-er than the water in my toilet."
I'm just gonna post a couple more pictures of Al doing "Wanna B Ur Lover" even though they can't do the live performance any true justice :-)
|Is Al channeling Gene Simmons??|
|"Anyone ever tell you you've got Yugoslavian hands?"|
|"Grab yourself an egg and beat it!"|
|"As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain..."|
|HE is the Lizard King!|
Another costume change and then it was Al looking like Jim Morrison and all the rest of the band as members of The Doors for "Craigslist". This was originally part of Al's "Internet Leaks" series from the summer of 2009 and then appeared on Alpocalypse. It has become one of my favorite songs of his for some reason or another. Instead of "the Coffee Bean" Al changed the lyrics so that they were about a Raleigh-area cafe. He did that at the Charlotte concert we attended in October 2011 as well. Gotta love when an artist goes for the local flavor like that :-)
(As an aside, I finally understand what the Indians and car wreck scenes in the "Craigslist" video are about. Chad told me about Morrison having seen a car crash on an Indian reservation when he was very young and how it affected him. It's not a big thing but that level of detail is something that makes Al not only entertaining but educational as well!)
|Donny Osmond and Minesweeper. Only at a Weird Al concert!|
After "Perform This Way" it was another brief intermission and several seconds later it was "White and Nerdy" time! Al's rendition of Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" is another of Al's recent songs that became an instant classic Al arrived on stage riding a Segway while a crazy montage of clips played on the screen behind him. We'd forgotten about how much Donny Osmond was in the music video... and there's even MORE of him in the concert edition!! Another song that the audience can't help but get themselves involved in :-)
Al and the band had performed a hefty number of their tunes for our pleasure, but of course they weren't going to let the evening end without "Fat": Al's parody of Michael Jackson's "Bad". I've heard that it took Al four hours to get into makeup and costume for the music video in 1988. The live concert version takes him something like forty seconds! Is this guy a show-business beast or what?
Considering that it's "Fat", here's Al in an extra-wide photo...
|"You know I'm FAT, I'm FAT, you know it!"|
But as any veteran of a Weird Al concert knows: this is NOT the end of the show...
A few minutes later Ruben came on dressed as Darth Sidious from the Star Wars movies. He played a spooky organ interlude as a Tusken Raider, several Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, Chewbacca and Darth Vader himself (all courtesy of the 501st Legion) paraded onto the stage. They were followed by Al and the remaining band members dressed as Jedi Knights. And so it was that Al did "The Saga Begins": a parody of "American Pie" so spot-on that Don McLean complained that for awhile he was singing Al's song instead of his own!
There was one final song to perform. Not just a "song", but a transcendental experience unlike any other. You see, "Yoda" is far more than a Star Wars-inspired parody of "Lola" by the Kinks. It is several minutes' worth of communion with the inner geek we all share. The culmination of which is the very, very strange, wildly surreal and unbelievably coordinated "Yoda Chat" that Al and his band go into. How it began and how the guys practice it will likely always be a total mystery but the Alpocalypse 2013 version is certainly the longest Yoda Chant they have done in all my years of attending Weird Al concerts!
Then Al and the band said their final goodbyes to the audience and we all got up from our seats happy and content and totally, totally exhilirated from an evening of pure undiluted WEIRDNESS. And a few seconds later we got a surprise: our friend Eric and his two sons were in the audience behind us! They had come all the way from Charlotte for the show and he'd wondered if he would see us there. Turns out that my waving around Charles Nelson Reilly's pic on my iPad during "CNR" was spotted by Eric and he knew where to find us after that. Gotta love how things turn out like that :-)
But of course, we were NOT going to go home without attempting to meet Weird Al. Fortunately there was a small line waiting at his tour bus and he graciously spent several minutes greeting his fans and signing autographs! He signed my copies of When I Grow Up and Weird Al: The Book (Kristen got that for me for Christmas). Then he let us get photos with him. Here is life-long best friend Chad and I with Al. This really meant a lot to me, since Chad is the one who first introduced me to Weird Al's music all the way back in March of 1984! This was his first Al concert. Somehow, it seems like there's a sense of completion at long last...
|Is Weird Al putting the moves on MY girlfriend?!?|
So the four of us and Eric and his two boys all got to meet Al and tell him and the band that it was a terrific show. One that if you can, you really should try to see sometime during this tour! It really was the best and craziest and funniest that I've ever seen Weird Al do in live performance. It was also the best audience that I'd ever witnessed for an Al show. Like Kristen and I were discussing yesterday afternoon: this world would have been far less interesting and much poorer if it weren't for "Weird Al" Yankovic running loose in it :-)
Mash here for the official WeirdAl.com website and see if he's coming to a town near you! Buy tickets and then use them! You won't regret it :-)
(Thanks to Kristen for taking so many awesome photos of the show!)