Posted by: pop-break | October 24, 2011

Pop-Break Live: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic in Morristown, N.J.

logan j. fowler is living in an Amish paradise … no cops or traffic lights …

There has been two music artists that I have listened to since childhood that are still at it, even decades later, putting out great albums and creating great works. The first is Bruce Springsteen. The other? “Weird Al” Yankovic.

I’ve seen Bruce in concert two times when I was in my teenage years, but of the two listed, I’ve always had a strong place in my heart for His Weirdness. Don’t get me wrong, as much I like the music of the Boss, I identified with Yankovic more because he was dorky (which I am) and unusual (which I also am). Plus, he took Top 40 songs and made fun of them, and with his genius touch, gave us some real winning parodies that even overshadow the original song they borrow from.

I’ve always missed “Weird Al” when he would visit New Jersey on his touring circuits, but as last night, that all changed. I went solo (semi unfortunately) to the Mayo Pac Performing Arts Center in Morristown to catch a personally dubbed “hero” FINALLY perform live.

The concert was, for lack of a better phrase, unlike anything I’d ever seen before. For the most part, the tunes performed required more of the star — frequent costume changes would take place during the bill, causing the stage to go dark, and those in attendance would be treated to a bit from “Al TV,” a program that would air on MTV, or clips of Al in movies or television, or quotes from the same form of media that mentioned “Weird Al” in name. Fans were also treated to the hysterical fake trailer for “Weird Al’s” life story on FunnyOrDie.com, entitled, “WEIRD.” Following these segments, Al would always return to stage, a new get up waiting for the excited fans.

While this was a tour for the performer’s latest album, Alpocalypse, he still varied the set list quite a bit, including older songs like “Frank’s 2000 Inch TV,” “Smells Like Nirvana,” “Canadian Idiot,” and “Wanna B Ur Lover” (in which Al wore a black and red tiger suit, and straddled lucky ladies in the audience). He also did a medley of hit parodies, mostly food related, including “Money For Nothing (Beverly Hillbillies),” “Whatever you Like,” “Another Tattoo,” “ebay,” “I Want A New Duck,” “Theme From Rocky XIII (Rye Or The Kaiser),” “Spam,” “My Bologna,” “Ode To A Superhero” (a personal favorite only due to the Spider-Man references), “Lasagna,” and, wrapping up the intense medley, “Eat It.”

Al also belted out some of his newer material, such as “CNR,” “Party In The C.I.A.,” “Craigslist,” “Skipper Dan,” “TMZ,” and “Polkaface,” which was the opening number. The young girls in the audience screamed loudly when “Party” and “TMZ” were featured, as the two songs are parodies of tunes by Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, respectively.

The near end of the show was the best part of the set list, in my opinion. Al and his cohorts busted out what most likely consider his strongest parodies in his library. Bearded and in black, Al started off the show stopping segment with “Amish Paradise,” a true fan favorite for team Al. He then busted out “Perform This Way,” decked out in a ridiculous peacock costume to poke fun at Lady Gaga’s wardrobe ensemble. He then rolled in on a segway for “White And Nerdy,” and the first beats of the song had the audience whooping and hollering, which also occurred for his next song, “Fat,” in which the performer was complete in a fat suit with a Michael Jackson–esque outfit. Al and the band seemed to be done for the night, but two more songs were in store, as the Star Wars theme closed out the night, with Yankovic and his band, supported by storm troopers and Darth Vader, performed “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda.” Then the real end came, and I, along with all the fellow “weirdos,” departed from the lovely performing art center.

These people were the same set of fellow Al fans that had not just five minutes ago stood to their feet and clapped loudly for Yankovic and his accompanying band. “Weird Al” was a concert, yes, but also a comedy show. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much at a movie, which is about the same length of time the performance was.

The concert element was amazing, and the break up segments that allowed Al to get changed kept fans entertained, which was important. I laughed my ass off significantly, which is also important for this long time fan. There was never a dull moment in the entire performance.

As I departed the center, I was not just saddled in the exiting line with adults. There were young children, preteens, teenagers, and senior citizens who left along with me. While I’ve seen some age variation at concerts I’ve been too, it has never been this distinct.

That is what is remarkable about “Weird Al” Yankovic — his music knows no age restrictions, it doesn’t cater to a specific audience, and it really is something for everyone. While his music does dip into crazy lyrics at points (a parody that talks about decapitation comes to mind), it is way more in jest than a lyric written by Eminem or Nickleback or some other artist.

“Weird Al” Yankovic just wants life to be fun, and he does that by making fun of it. I think that’s a wonderful umbrella for any kid at heart to unite under. When I finally realized a dream on October 21st when I saw “Weird Al” in concert, I kind of wasn’t alone — young Logan and older Logan saw it together, and those two sides of one enjoyed the hell out of what we had just witnessed.

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