By: Derek Jung
If there's one artist that's had a constant presence in my musical evolution, it's Weird Al, the kooky, fun-loving, long haired parodist and accordion player. Going strong since the early 1980's, Weird Al has only recently garnered his first #1 album on the US charts as well as winning his 4th Grammy award for 2015's Mandatory Fun. Al has stated that this album would be his last in the traditional LP variety; going forward he'll start releasing singles and EPs as he records songs. In the meantime, however, he has been heavily touring Mandatory Fun, and his stop in Cincinnati was in the middle of the final run of dates for this album cycle. That being said, there was little evidence of tour fatigue.
The show began as Al walked from his tour into the pavilion singing "Tacky", the parody of the Pharrell Williams hit "Happy". That set the stage for two hours of hilarity. Al and the band wore many different costumes throughout the set, including a purple octopus outfit and ice cream cone hat for "Perform This Way", full Devo outfits, an Amish costume for "Amish Paradise", a fat suit for "Fat", and a full cast of Star Wars stormtroopers and Darth Vader for the encore songs. Of course, changing from outfit to outfit takes time, so in between songs, montages of Weird Al's tv and movie cameos played on the backdrop screen. These montages were oftentimes funnier than the song performances, and kept the show from having too many breaks in the action. Honestly, I didn't realize how many cameos he's made throughout the years.
One of the most surprising things about seeing Weird Al live is just how talented his band is. They mimic the styles of so many different artists so perfectly. Not only that, but Al himself can sing very well, and his stage presence is goofy, but focused and hilarious. I especially appreciated the dorky way that he swung his arms about. All in all, Al and his band, who have been together for over twenty-five years, use that familiarity and experience to their advantage. It's almost effortless.
While I haven't listened to his most recent albums as much as I did Poodle Hat, Running With Scissors, and Bad Hair Day, I was thoroughly entertained by the new material. Al, you're a cultural icon and made such an impact on my childhood. I'm glad I can finally say that I've seen you live.
Lame Claim to Fame
Now That's What I Call Polka!
Perform This Way
Dare to Be Stupid
First World Problems
Smells Like Nirvana
Party in the CIA / It's All About the Pentiums / Handy / Bedrock Anthem / Another One Rides the Bus / Ode to a Superhero / Gump / Inactive / eBay
Wann B Ur Lovr
Eat It / I Lost on Jeopardy / I Love Rocky Road / Like a Surgeon (all acoustic)
White & Nerdy
We All Have Cell Phones (meta concert reference)
The Saga Begins
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: