Concerts 2015: Weird Al Yankovic

The video controls for the concert
The video controls for the concert

I’ve been a fan of Weird Al for about 17 years. I used to have the Disney special Weird Al Going Home, but unfortunately, I lent it to someone and never got it back. Yet, in all the time, I’d never seen a Weird Al concert live. Finally, Weird Al came to Baltimore as part of his Mandatory Fun Tour and I was able to experience an Al Tour. It was a pretty neat experience. It’s only something like the fourth arena concert I’ve been to (even thought it wasn’t technically in an arena). The last arena concert I went to was Rihanna. Interestingly, Weird Al had WAY more costume changes than she did. He had just about one outfit per song with few exceptions. While he was changing, clips played from nearly every video Weird Al has ever been involved in.

The best part of the concert was that he played at least one song from each of his albums. I got to hear all my favorites live, which was quite a treat. Who would have thought he’d still be singing Fat all these decades later?

Weird Al Mandatory Fun Concert - Singing "Fat"
Weird Al Mandatory Fun Concert – Singing “Fat”

Going back to the fact that this is only about the fourth arena concert I’ve been to, I’ve mostly been going to concerts in clubs. That’s partly because I tend to like more obscure bands like The Protomen and I Fight Dragons. And partly because even bigger bands like Anberlin (who played Madison Square Garden for two consecutive nights on their farewell tour) aren’t going to draw enough fans to fill an arena. Having done both fairly recently (Anamanaguchi vs Weird Al), I have to say that I prefer the club atmosphere. There’s something about the band being just a few feet away and the crowd pressing against you, belting out songs, that makes concerts worth attending. Meanwhile I leave most arena concerts thinking it’d be a better experience on my big screen TV at home. While I don’t regret seeing Weird Al live, it certainly didn’t feel as special as some of the smaller venues.

To keep things fresh, both for Al and ourselves, for some of his oldest songs, he did a Lounge Lizard medley. It was pretty fun to hear the songs this way – he should do an album release this way.

Weird Al Mandatory Fun Concert - Lounge Lizard Versions
Weird Al Mandatory Fun Concert – Lounge Lizard Versions

Here is a really short example from two songs:

Some more costume changes:

Appropriately enough, given 2015 is the year of Star Wars, he ended the night with a couple Star Wars songs.

Although he did start it off with a bizarre reference to an earlier joke:

Overall, it was a great experience and I think if he’s still performing when Scarlett’s a little older, I’ll take her.

Author: Eric Mesa

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