“Weird Al” Yankovic was awesome at Thebarton Theatre on Friday, 8th January 2016!
Well, he was once he finally got on stage! Tickets said “Doors Open at 7pm, On Stage at 8pm”. It turns out it was the 15 minute warm-up act at 8pm – a local comedian. He was OK, but then there was a 45 min wait after the comedian finished before Weird Al came on stage. There was no notification or message to the crowd about this, and when you’re packed into the standing room section at the front of the stage with lots of others, sweating away with no clue as to when the show was going to start, it’s not cool.
When Weird Al finally came on stage, he opened with a bang: a sensational rendition of his recent hit ‘Tacky’, starting the song walking down South Road before entering Thebby Theatre. For the next hour and 50 mins, Weird Al produced an amazing show, showcasing his hits, old and new. For a 56-year-old, his energy was still there – dancing, going crazy, innumerable costume changes – and he can still do an incredible high kick with his feet getting as high as his head!
Weird Al obviously couldn’t fit all his hits into his almost two hour show, and about an hour in, he actually started to do something really clever – he did a few montages of his hits; singing a verse and a chorus of a song, and then moving onto another song. That way we heard at least some of all our favourite songs. What I thought was really clever was that Weird Al and his lead guitarist & bass guitarist came out after one costume change and started to sing some of the biggest hits ‘unplugged’. To hear amazing versions of ‘Eat It’, ‘I Love Rocky Road’ and ‘Like A Surgeon’ sung in this way was certainly a wonderful surprise.
But what really made the show was during the breaks between songs for Weird Al’s costume changes, the big screen at the back of the stage played many, many montages of Weird Al’s appearances and mentions in movies and TV shows over the last 30+ years. There were some absolute classics there (check out the AL TV interview with Eminem if you ever get the chance) and these kept the audience engaged and thoroughly entertained in these necessary breaks in set.
Weird Al finished his main set with the brilliant ‘Amish Paradise’, but then came back out for a two song encore with a line of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, and the entire band dressed as Jedis, to perform ‘The Saga Begins’; and finishing with ‘Yoda’ (based on The Kinks’ ‘Lola’).
Aside from making us wait (and wait and wait) for him to come on stage, “Weird Al” Yankovic remains, in my opinion, one of the world’s greatest entertainers, and if you even just like even one of his songs, I would recommend you see him live as soon as possible!
Brilliance. Just brilliance!
By David Emms
Tour details can be viewed at Weird Al’s website.