Weird Al Yankovic

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author MN date 28/09/15 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

After a solid 40 years of activity, making a whopping 150 wacky parodies of every decade, Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic finally makes his way to his loyal fan base in Copenhagen. Upon arriving to Store Vega, I am confronted by what seems to be the biggest line in my experience of Vega, where the eager crowd reaches to the corner of Lyrskovsgade. Three massive busses are parked outside the venue, signaling a massive production set. My expectations are somewhat non-existent as a Weird Al show cannot possibly be predicted. So, as I venture in to the venue with the merry bunch of Al enthusiasts, I stand ready to receive what turns out to be the absolute biggest surprise of the year. Read on to find out why.

All pictures by Lykke Nielsen

Weird Al Yankovic

As I enter the packed venue, I notice the stage is equipped with a massive tv-screen and a standard set of instruments, another half an hour awaits before showtime so I venture out to mingle amongst the crowd. The crowd itself is an experience, there are old-timers, kids, posh girls, and a Hawaiian-shirt wearing “all-weird-al-knowing” excentric who provides a dictionary of references and factoids regarding Weird Al throughout my experiences of the show (Thanks, Bjarke!). The crowd is in really high spirits and provide a contagious aura of unadulterated fun. One can say what they will about Weird Al, but his parodies are all by given permission of the artist, and some have even been encouraged by the original writer. So, what is it about Weird Al’s cover music that makes it so widely accepted? My hypothesis is that Weird Al’s renditions are so viciously innocent and dorky that no one could possibly take offence to them. The lights begin to dim and the anticipation rises. As the crowd gazes eagerly at the stage to spot the man, they are surprised by video footage of the prankster himself walking out of the tour bus parked right outside the venue to the tunes of the hugely popular “Tacky”, a song originally made famous by Pharrel. He walks throughout the venue, mic in hand, until he reaches the stage to mass applause.

It is apparent from the get-go that he has played with this band for a very long time. The ease and relaxed attitude with which the band members suavely enter and exit the song is timely and consistent. After every song the big screen shows a snippet of videos, gags and clips from his equally whacky music videos. The amount of cultural references related to Weird Al is astounding. His self-made interviews with various celebrities are clever and hilarious all at the same time, especially the one featuring Eminem. We are here at a comedy show and the guests roar with exstatic laughter all the way throughout the gig.

His stage production is actually quite brilliant, at every song interval, the videos give room for a breather and a costume change, which include everyone in the band performing with attire that suits the given song. Some of the more brilliant ones include Michael Jackson, one of his prime victims, where Al is dressed in a globular costume during the all-time hit “I’m Fat”. Furthermore, the ice cream costume is also one of his strangest pieces presented on this night.

As an instrument Al has played since childhood, his omnipresent accordion is eagerly pulled out to the glee and delight of the crowd. The man of the hour clearly has some skills in playing his favourite style, Polka, to countless medleys that make up a humongous setlist for this evening. As the expression goes, a picture says a thousand words, and I am inclined to add another photo taken by our brilliant photographer, Lykke, to encapsulate what I have experienced this evening.

The Weird Al Yankovic show will go down in the history books for Vega as one of the biggest eye-opener shows that left the crowd eagerly anticipating more from the now 55 year old crooner. I am personally mesmerized by tonight's show because of the inexhaustible energy brought to his first visit to Copenhagen, which hopefully will not be his last. It is indeed my first music comedy show to have reviewed and for lack of better comparative perspective, this show sets the bar high at a whopping 9 out of 10. To close up, remember the immortalized quote “He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life”.

9

Setlist:

  • 1. Tacky
  • 2. Lame Claim To Fame
  • 3. Perform This Way
  • 4. Dare To Be Stupid
  • 5. Fat
  • 6. First World Problems
  • 7. Foil
  • 8. Smells Like Nirvana
  • 9. Party In The CIA
  • 10. All About The Pension
  • 11. Handy
  • 12. Spiderman
  • 13. Gump
  • 14. Inactive
  • 15. Ebay
  • 16. Canadian Idiot
  • 17. Beat It
  • 18. Lost On Jeopardy
  • 19. Like A Surgeon
  • 20. White N Nerdy
  • 21. Word Crimes
  • 22. Amish Paradise
  • 23. We All Have Cell Phones
  • 24. The Sage Begins
  • 25: Yoda

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