The Old Lady on Brady had to be busting a gut with laughter Thursday night, as Weird Al Yankovic brought his hilarious concoction of familiar tunes with altered lyrics out for fans to take in. Best known for parodying top selling artists with his mix of satire and good natured ribbing, it is hard to realize that there is some very serious talent in the room when he comes in.
Yankovic has been around for years now and has a huge following, having played over 1000 shows, he has transcended being a novelty act to really being a household name.
The show starts with video snip-its of silly old school characters and retro style people in black and white saying silly things. The video then cuts to Johnny Carson introducing Al during Johnny’s days on The Tonight Show, it is echoed by other big name late night talk show hosts introducing him as well.
Yankovic’s band come onstage and slowly from the middle of the stage you see green LED lights moving forward. This is Al making his way to the microphone carrying his trademark accordion. The band immediately launch into the Lady Gaga spoof, "Polka Face", this song doesn’t just stop with poking a funny finger at Gaga, but also jabs at Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and others.
This sets off a night of hi-jinx and carefree music that hits on all cylinders. The sound is a little thin to start with, but balances out soon enough.
There are lots of costume changes in this show as you would expect to help drive the songs and add to the humor. Each song end is met with a blacked out stage and the over-sized video screen showing a variety of clips. From the MTV ripoff "ALTV" to mock 1950’s PSA commercials it sets the tone for complete irreverence, which truly is the theme for the night. With wacky interviews with Emenem, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Snoop Dog and Robert Plant as part of the ALTV set the crowd was in stitches by Al’s questions and the answers that had obviously been taken from other interviews with the stars.
The night is filled with Al being Al, doing his send up of artist like Nirvana (Smells Like Nirvana), Michael Jackson (Eat It and Fat), James Blunt (You’re Pitiful), Devo (Dare to Be Stupid), Green Day (Canadian Idiot), Chamillionaire (White and Nerdy), The Doors (Craigslist), Don MCLean (The Saga Begins), Coolio (Amish Paradise) and the list goes on and on.. You may look at youtubing these titles to truly appreciate what is being done here. He also finds a way to make 1970’s game show regular Charles Nelson Reilly look like a superhero, in the Chuck Norris, sense with his ode "CNR". Which had me rolling with laughter.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
If you have never seen a WAY show you need to, at least one time. He really is an impressive showman who pours himself fully into what he does. Like I said before with all the zaniness that you see onstage it is easy to miss the talent, but you owe it to yourself to see it first hand.
Weird Al is one of those rare gems that comes along far to infrequently that loves what he is doing and is humble about doing it. You get the feeling from him that he would be doing something close even if it were for just his family and friends. Thankfully, we all get to be a part of that friend group.