“weird Al” Yankovic has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I remember lip syncing to “Eat It” in my 8th grade drama class while Shannon Capps played a baby who wouldn’t eat his food (and also performed a mean guitar solo on a toy ukelele). I remember laying in bed on Sunday nights, staying up until midnight listening to Dr. Demento in the dark even though I had school the next day. I remember my best friend, Andy, spending the night on the weekends, and we’d play “Weird Al” tapes on one jam box while recording on another jam box as we sang along, thus making our own albums along with original songs of our own when I’d learned to play guitar. He’s like an old friend who has been with me as long as I can remember, and continues on through today. Our history together came flooding back to me tonight.
Now I will remember “Weird Al” in concert. I’ve spoken before about how I don’t think Al gets the attention he actually deserves, and seeing him in concert solidifies this fact. Most people merely know him as “That guy who does funny song parodies about Star Wars and food, mostly”, but his originals often outshine his mostly brilliant but sometimes only mediocre parodies in my opinion. He has a tremendously talented band, and is actually a very gifted songwriter with a knack for great music and melodies in addition to razor-edged rapier wit and intelligence.
Before this show, I already knew what a great show he puts on from much Internet reading, and a lovely DVD given to me by the lovely Beth. He was performing at The Paramount here in Austin which is a really nice, and intimate venue, which probably doesn’t have a bad seat. He managed to cram in an amazing number of songs by only playing abridged versions of a lot of them, which actually worked quite well. You get enough to enjoy the song and get the joke, but end up getting to hear a lot more songs than if they were all performed in their entirety. Between many songs there were funny video clips, mostly taken from his various “Al TV” specials that used to air on MTV, and various other clips. These were used not only to entertain, but to fill time while Al and the band changed into costumes for various showpiece songs, such as his fat suit for “Fat”, Jedi robes, P-diddy suits, Nelly gear, and many others. He ventured into the audience several times also much to the crowd’s delight. The show was completely amazing, and one of the most fun entertaining things you’ll ever see. He also performed at least one song (a parody of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”) that is only performed live, and has never been issued.
I highly encourage anyone to go and catch this show if you can. Now I’m going to add all his older albums to my Amazon Wish List, since I have been remiss over the years in replacing the old cassettes I used to have.