I Saw Weird Al Live! A Concert Review


There aren’t many artists that I’d care to see in concert multiple times, but “Weird Al” Yankovic is certainly one of the exceptions. Every since my family first went to see him live on two dates of his 2003-2004 Poodle Hat Tour, my mom and I have gone to see Al twice more. My third show was the June 2, 2013 one at Port Chester, NY’s Capitol Theatre, and the fourth was the first of two June 6, 2015 shows at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT. He was originally scheduled to only play an 8PM show on that date, but the overwhelming demand for tickets led to the addition of a second show at 4PM (the one we wound up attending.) Just as we expected, the show was an electrifying thrill-ride of high-energy fun that managed to last two hours: that means that Al somehow managed to not only do two full shows with less than two hours between each other, but with his rest time cut short to again do meet-and-greets with fans rich enough to afford VIP tickets.


Photo by: Mark Theroux

After Al’s traditional “show is about to begin” signal (the studio recording of “Fun Zone” being played blaringly loud), there was the first of several clips montages before he began performing in a most unexpected way. Before he took the stage, we saw high-definition video of him doing a remake of his “Tacky” video while walking backstage. Once we saw Al walk out near the casino floor while singing to bewildered passers-by, we learned that this “music video” was all happening right now, and once he entered the theatre through a side-door and began walking down the aisles, the crowd went absolutely wild. After that, he performed other new songs “Lame Claim to Fame” and “Now That’s What I Call Polka!” with the rest of the concert including both classic and new songs (the whole setlist can be seen here.)

Since Al has to go backstage to change outfits for many songs (“Fat,” “Smells Like Nirvana,” “Amish Paradise,” etc.), he keeps the crowd entertained with video montages of his various appearances. In addition to clips from UHF or his various YouTube uploads and fake celebrity “interviews,” he shows his many cameos in series such as The Simpsons, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Epic Rap Battles of History. Al even features a lot of clips of scenes where he’s merely mentioned, such as a Family Guy joke or the Pawn Stars episode featuring the “Authorized Al” book.

One new surprise that I absolutely loved was the acoustic medley. Al’s concerts traditionally have a medley of both old and new songs shortened to save time, and in addition to this concert’s electric ten-song medley was an acoustic one consisting of four songs from his first three records (“Eat It,” “I Lost on Jeopardy,” “I Love Rocky Road” and “Like a Surgeon.”) With a more laid-back mood and instruments consisting of acoustic guitars, piano and percussion, it was a hilariously unique “unplugged” spin on Al’s classic songs.

I simply can’t put enough emphasis how much fun a Weird Al concert is: he and his band truly go all out to give fans all that they could ask for and more. From the classics like “Dare to be Stupid” and “Fat” to great new songs like “Tacky” and “Word Crimes,” there’s no way that any Weird Al fan young or old will go home disappointed (and Star Wars fans get an extra-special treat at the end.) It’s hard to think of many performers with such a cross-generational audience, and since Al’s material stays in PG territory, parents can feel safe bringing their kids to see him without getting too screwed up. The Mandatory Tour will continue at least into October, with more tour dates still being added: if you have at least some sense of humor, you owe it to yourself to check out a show near you.


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About the Author

Mark Theroux

Mark is g33ky about a lot of things, including music (especially his hero “Weird Al” Yankovic); movies (just about anything goes in that category); TV (ranging from older Simpsons to Breaking Bad to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic); and video games (he started with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Sega Genesis, and his modern consoles of choice are the Nintendo 3DS and – most recently – Wii U.) Some of his other favorite things are cats, Chipotle burritos and long walks on the beach. His least favorite things include poison ivy (the plant, not the smokin’ Batman supervillain), rude people and the inevitability of making a typo or two.

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