Weird Al!!!


I’m sure I did some other stuff today, but mainly it was all killing time until the Weird Al gig at the Enmore Theatre.

Oh, one mention to a Swiss guy in my dorm who gave me some pointers on his country for The Walk, such as the fact that I can’t walk through any of the road tunnels, but that most have fairly direct hiking tracks over the top of them. His name’s Bernie – if you can’t figure out why this is a great name for a Swiss guy, check out that list of capital cities in your encyclopaedia.

Back to the main feature. I’ve waited something like 16 years to see this guy play live. If I remember correctly, I picked up a copy of one of his albums in a discount store in Newcastle when I was still at school. Then I spent an age tracking down all his older stuff. Heck, when I was younger and had long hair, I looked like his love child. Scary, indeed.

The thing is, to the best of my knowledge he’s never toured the UK. He certainly hasn’t as long as I’ve been on the lookout. I don’t know how often he plays in Oz, but the number and location of tour dates here is impressive. I’m glad to say that the show’s as funny as I’d hoped, though there seemed to be some mic problems – but these things happen.

This is the first seated concert I’ve been to in a really long time. The Apollo in Manchester started removing the seats pre-gig once the realised that replacing the damaged ones after every gig was more expensive than uprooting them and storing them safely for the duration. I was in S-5 which sounds bad, but wasn’t actually too far back.

The lights dimmed. The announcer announced.

And some comedian from Byron Bay came on stage.

In fairness, he wasn’t bad. I suppose every act needs a warm-up and a comedian was a good choice for a Weird Al gig. Still, the crowd was baying for Al. The stand-up got a good send-off and a decent applause (deservedly – he was quite funny) and then everyone sat around for another fifteen minutes.

At last.

Lights down again. Videos on big projector screens. The sound of an accordion… and Al!

The set must have lasted two hours, perhaps a bit longer. There was no way he’d play every song people wanted, but the selection was top notch. A handful of full length tracks was followed by a very long medley of part-tracks involving on-stage costume changes as well as one or two lyrical updatings of previous parodies. The single verse of Headline News (Crash Test Dummies Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm) was fairly topical:

Once there was a girl who, drove around in limousines and didn’t wear her panties
Then one day she lost it, cut off all her hair and didn’t even have a reason
It had always been there

(somewhat inaccurate, but you get the point)

Of course we got Canadian Idiot complete with paper streamers exploding at the end; Fat with the huge “fat-suit”; Amish Paradise; Polkarama! with the original music videos in the background perfectly lyp-synced to the live stuff; Do I Creep You Out while Al “got jiggy with” several embarassed audience members; Smells Like Nirvana with no sign of a shotgun anywhere…

It was great. I’d say the only disappointment was that it didn’t last seven hours and contain everything he’s ever done. Yes, I’m greedy.

The between-set Al-TV videos which gave the cast time to change costumes varied from amusing to hilarious. Celine Dion, Madonna, Eminem, Keith Richards and more had the “fake interview” treatment, plus the video for Weasel Stomping Day and some parody healthy and safety infomercials.

That was pretty much the day. I ate for free when I got back – in fact I paid for one tin of beans all day. Thanks to the European contingent for leaving me to much free food! And whoever left the big Coles bag in the “free” section so I won’t be short of bread.

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