The first, I was somewhere around ten or 11 years old and, naturally, I went with my parents. I remember a lot of high kicking, costumes and, even then, the amazement at the band’s ability to switch between so many genres of music so quickly, almost completely mirroring the original sound.
And then in 2013, when I saw Weird Al again at an outdoor venue during the summer, it was refreshing and amazing to know that he hasn’t lost a step as a performer.
The kicks were as high as ever and the pace at which he went through costume changes – each song exists in its own bubble on stage, with different effects, lights, themes, costumes, etc. – was the same as when I was an awestruck elementary school kid seeing his first concert.
He also entered the crowd for a song that required a lot of gyrating in the vicinity of people’s faces. And the age range of said people was vast, from young kids to twentysomethings to older folks who weren’t accompanied by kids at all. We were all sitting down, watching this pop culture icon explode his zaniness upon us. It was awesome.
But what was really impressive about Weird Al’s latest tour, the one that featured a lot from his underrated Alpocalypse but not, unfortunately, much from the older days, is that it offered a perspective of just how much he has been permeating through our culture for the past two-plus decades.
As he was changing costumes and breaks in the music were needed, clips would play on the big video boards looming behind the stage, sometimes a skit from Weird Al, but also many instances of when he was referenced or made an appearance on a show, newscast, movie – just about anything you can imagine.
And as the show progressed, I began to recall all those times when he was referenced, when I was psyched as a kid to learn that other people were in on Weird Al.
And then I realized how psyched I was to still be into Weird Al in my mid-twenties, enough to take videos on my phone, sing along and cycle through all playlist possibilities in my head before the show began. I’ve never felt that way for another artist or band and I likely never will.
Now I just need to plan my third concert, hopefully before I’m 40.