BEING THERE: Weird Al Yankovic @ The Mann

"Weird Al" Yankovic Kicks Off "The Mandatory World Tour"


I’ve never fully understood traffic, but I knew that it always came at the wrong time and that the great city of Philadelphia is FULL of it. I mean, what the heck is the person in front doing that makes us miss the first song of a Weird Al concert? Well, it was partly my fault, because if you decide to leave a half hour before because you ever so wanted a plate of wings, you are going to miss a thing and a thang. So the duration of the car ride was mainly for feeling poorly about your choices that you have made.

And then there was an Al, clearly weirder in person than you would ever find him through a computer screen. Tie-dye shirt and pants, braided hair, wide-open eyes, accordion and all. Quickly, we rushed ourselves over to our seats, and then we sat back to enjoy the show. “ARE YOU READY TO POLKA!!!!” screamed Weird Al. The crowd cheered in response. Then, before you could blink, Miley Cyrus’s face appeared on a giant screen, and there was polka involved too, of course. Al was singing “Wrecking Ball” to Polka! The crowd laughed his way to the next Polka parody pop piece. That should be a tongue twister. Anyways, it was definitely unique. And a great first concert experience if I were to say so myself.

There is no way I could just get through every song that he did that fateful night, but I could go through some of most honorable mentions that I think would help prove my point that everyone who hasn’t been to a Weird Al Yankovic concert is a sadistic clown.

To start off our special night of weirdness, let’s begin with about the most fun song he probably recorded in his whole life, the “I’m Fat” one. It started out with that mini-clip in the beginning to basically tell the crowd, “You see where this is going now,” and then, right at the part in the video where he inflates into a living manatee and starts singing, a very fat man came on the stage. You heard me right, it was Al in one of those fat suits! As if the performance wasn’t saturated with weirdness to the brim already, there was some point in the song where Santa Claus came on stage, and that whale punched him in the face. Everyone in the audience was going insane with laughter, which was also weird. I’m sorry, but I just can’t stop saying weird. Well, it is fitting for such an odd guy.

Another one of the most amazing performances, the CollegeHumor special “Foil.” I didn’t see the actual video, which I think was a fun surprise. So there was Al, rambling on about Aluminum Foil, and in my head, I was starting to believe that he was going real downhill with his songs, because resorting to singing a parody about that is about the lowest of the low, until there was one lyric that perked most of the unsuspecting audience up. “Oh by the way I’ve cracked the cooooode. I’ve figured out the shadow, organizations.” My eyeballs were like spikes poking out at him. How bad am I with analogies? “And the Illuminati knooooowssss. That they’re finally primed, for world dominatiooooon.” A giant eye with a triangle around it appeared on the big screen, followed by a large, nuclear explosion. The song exploded with all the major conspiracies; thought control and psychotronic scanning, aliens, fake moon landing, and the Illuminati! I think he succeeded in what he was trying to do there: make the entire audience feel entirely uncomfortable.

For the last of the honorable mentions, there was his funny song “I Wanna B Ur Lovr.” A nice beat was playing through the speaker, and then there was the Al again, this time with a nice jacket. He then surprised all of us, and jumped in to the audience. Of course, than he sang to the people there. Basically, what he was doing was proceeding to make even more people uncomfortable, specifically the ladies this time as he went around and sang corny love notes to people, like, my personal favorite of them, “You’re so hot that you’re going to melt, the elastic in my underwear.” Again, he succeeded in giving us a laugh, giving us a strong, strong example of the weird side, and making us feel uncomfortable. Which I think was the point, actually.

Alright, so if you have understood the message I have been subtly transmitting throughout this review, go to a Weird Al Yankovic concert you poor, unfortunate soul. My life was changed forever because of just one, weird man, and so will yours. Or just listen to one of his music videos. Instead of leading such a sad, and empty life, trust me and go to a Weird Al concert. — CHARLIE C

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Like any normal 10 year old kid from Haddon Heights, he goes to school, loves his dog, likes Minecraft and leaves a mess wherever he goes. He also writes better than most adults and has keen insight into the human psyche that borders on the paranormal. If this kid can keep his head on straight, he is going places. You can check out his blog THE UNIVERSE ACCORDING TO CHARLIE.