A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 93 – “Weird Al” Yankovic Live!

“Weird Al” Yankovic Live! – June 1st, 2010

I don’t really go to concerts. I can count the actual concerts I’ve been to on my hands. Not my fingers, my hands. That’s two, for those bad at math (like me!) and they were both They Might Be Giants (I almost saw Nightwish, but their instruments got stranded in Mexico City). Part of my lack of concert-going experience is that I don’t like crowds and the other part is that I am enormously skilled at getting vicious headaches. It’s a super power, what can I say. All that being said, I would go to see Weird Al. I would love to see him live because he is fucking awesome. So yeah, this is as close as I’ve gotten so far.

But wait. Why are we doing a concert DVD? Because we decided to count movie-length recordings of live performances. We’ve got a couple. This, Pink Floyd’s Pulse, Woodstock’s kind of a grey area, but then there’s Into the Woods and The Reduced Shakespeare Company Presents The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged, which are theatrical productions. So yeah, concerts? Sure. Why not. And let’s face it, Weird Al (and Pink Floyd, for that matter) puts on a great show. There are costume changes and props! And it’s Weird Al.

Song-specific notes: The Night Santa Went Crazy – inspiration for Robot Santa in Futurama, y/y? Did you know that the lead singer of Devo has said he thinks Dare to Be Stupid is more Devo-esque than anything Devo ever did? I find that hilarious. The Saga Begins almost makes it worth watching the Star Wars prequels. I’d love to have heard full versions of classics like I Love Rocky Road and Another One Rides the Bus, but I understand that for the sake of a concert and an artist like Weird Al, playing all his awesome older stuff and his awesome newer stuff would make for a week long concert, so I’ll suck it up and enjoy the medly. After all, he does medlies so well, as evidenced by the ever-present polka medlies on every album and the beginning of this concert. While I normally do enjoy Weird Al’s style parodies (I honestly think Frank Zappa would have loved Genius in France, and I have genuinely mistaken Everything You Know is Wrong for an actual TMBG song), I find his NIN parody, Germs, kind of weak. Which is sad, because I loved NIN at the time that this concert took place and I’d have adored a really good style parody of them. It’s not bad, it’s just not as spot on as I’m used to the style parodies being. Eh. It’s one weak number in the middle of an truly fantastic concert.

I accurately nailed the year this took place. 1998 or 1999, I said to Andy. 1999. The reason I can do that is because of the pop culture references. Star Wars Episode I? Alanis Morisette? Those would be my college years. Early college years. So yeah, I can pinpoint that. Which is kind of neat. Not that I don’t enjoy his older or newer stuff. I still love his Michael Jackson parodies, and White and Nerdy is a work of genius. But the year this came from, and the years just before and after, those are special years in my heart. I admit, I owned Alanis Morrisette’s first album and listened to it repeatedly. I never owned any Spice Girls, but they were on the trailer reel at the Blockbuster I worked at over the summers, and yeah, they did catchy stuff. I don’t usually tune into current pop, but I know what’s out there. So there’s a boatload of nostalgia in here, listening to things like Bedrock Anthem and It’s All About the Pentiums. And obviously, with so many costume changes (seriously, he’s in something different for almost every song, as is his band), there was more to this concert than got recorded. I do wonder how that works live? Does he do so many costume changes? There is an art to a fast costume change. I’ve done enough theater to know there’s lots of tricks you can use. But this is above and beyond. So was this concert done with pauses, staged specifically for recording? Or is there filler in between numbers that require costume changes, with videos playing or something? I mean, they play the intro to the Fat video (not my favorite song in the world, but the intro is a great Michael Jackson parody and I’m going to have to watch the videos after this) before he comes out in a full fat suit, but that’s not the norm for any of the other numbers. I’d be curious to know. Anyone who’s seen him live, clue me in?

Regardless of how this specific concert was put on versus any other concerts he’s done (alas, none in the Boston area this year and they’re almost all sold out anyhow), it’s a fantastic show. The costume changes, the manic energy, the crowd interaction, the song selection, the Star Wars-themed encore, it’s all great. Weird Al managed to pack in classics and new stuff and stuff in between and polka and style parody and full parody and I wish I’d been there. I really really do. Some day.

June 1, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Yes, he really does do all those costume changes in concert. They play video clips during them to keep us interested, but the changes are very quick. That concert vid was eleven years ago, but his most recent shows, when he toured with White & Nerdy, were just as awesome if not more so. High energy, high musicality, high theatricality, good humor all the way.

    He’s on tour this summer. Maybe this will be your chance. good luck with the headaches.

    Comment by Helen | June 2, 2010 | Reply

    • That is so awesome. Unfortunately he’s not coming anywhere close enough for us to go to and the nearest shows (still a couple of hours’ drive away) are sold out. We’ll see him some day. He’s too awesome for us not to.

      Comment by ajmovies | June 2, 2010 | Reply


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