AUGUST 23rd 2019

Review/Photos by Char Tupper


Tonight, we are going to get a little “weird”, with some “strings attached”, which could only mean one thing, Weird Al Yankovic is in town, but with the help of a 41-piece orchestra.  The king of parodies, no musician is safe these days when Al Yankovic is still being weird, your music is at risk of becoming a parody. In my opinion, I grew up with these parodies, and sometimes, I knew Weird Al’s version before I knew the original, or even better, I liked the parody more. Laughter and humor are always welcome in my books, and no one better in the music industry, then Weird Al to write it.

The evening started with a performance by the orchestra only, including theme tracks from Mission Impossible, Indiana Jones, and of course, Star Wars. All the songs were performed extremely well, and it was a nice and unique change from outside my heavy metal comfort zone. Now, onto the main performance, which of course, is Al Yankovic and his band. This particular tour is called “Strings Attached”, which of course he is taking the opportunity to tour with an orchestra, to enhance his songs even more, the addition of the orchestra truly added to a lot of the songs, I enjoyed having them alongside the band. He started the set with kind of a 3-track combination, “I Lost on Jeopardy/I love Rocky Road/Like a Surgeon”, the audience was really excited to hear these tracks early on in the night, which could only mean the night is going to get funnier, and better as we go. He continues to perform classic parodies like “Jurassic Park” and “Word Crimes” , but then, it was time for us to celebrate a particular day, a day we call “Weasel Stomping Day” , where the band and backup vocalists all grab their Viking helmets, and sing the anthem. Now of course, various outfit changes and more parodies were performed throughout the night, like “Smells like Nirvana” and “Amish Paradise”, my favorite so far was of course, “White and Nerdy” where he rolled out on his Segway dressed in bling, an oversized hoodie, bandana, and baggy pants, he easily was the most gangster guy here tonight, and we all thought he pulled it off, in a funny way. The encore, however, was where Al really shined, it was when “The Saga Begins”. The last 3 songs of the night were his legendary Star Wars parodies, which he has been known for, for years, hell, since I was in high school for sure. During the songs, Al and his entire crew, walked on stage dressed in full Star Wars costumes, including Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, Obi Wan, and more. It was really fun to see this, as really, who isn’t a little bit of a Star Wars nerd (even if its deep down inside you!) The songs were all performed well, and of course, for the piece de resistance, for the track “Yoda”, Weird Al performed with his accordion, which he is also known for. You can tell he truly enjoys playing it, he really has fun with it, twirling, and even running up to the other musicians playing his accordion right in their personal space, which they too have fun with it. It was a great performance by both Weird Al and his band, but the orchestra as well.

This was a show, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, it was outside my normal heavy metal, but at the same time, I know I had to open up my mind a little, since I can’t judge this like I would my other shows. That being said, this was an amazing experience, full of fun and laughter, but also great music performed with some classical instruments thrown into the mix. I highly recommend, you get out there and catch Weird Al, because he puts on an amazing show, and you will not be disappointed, I wasn’t, and I’m sure I will be going next time he comes to town.

Aug 29 Indianapolis, IN @ Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn
Aug 30 Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center
Aug 31 Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
Sept 1 North Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena