Weird Al Turns Lied Audiences Into “Movie Stars” During Impressive Friday Concerts | Entertainment
Weird Al Yankovic spent Friday afternoon working on the sound mixing of “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” a biopic that will star Daniel Radcliffe, “Harry Potter” himself, as Weird Al, connecting with filmmakers online and listening to music that will be in the film with headphones.
The image, he told the audience at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, needs a reaction from the crowd – and they are the lucky ones who have been enlisted to provide that noise.
Pulling out his phone, he told the audience – “It’s not a bit, we’re doing this” – and began leading them in a call and response, Yankovic asking: “Is this what you want?” and the crowd shouting “no” at multiple levels of volume.
“You don’t get paid for this, are you okay?” he said at the end of the recording. “You can tell people 100 years from now that you’re in a Weird Al movie.”
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The startling interlude came about 45 minutes into Yankovic and his longtime band’s impressive and entertaining performance — the band’s newest member in 30 years — on “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill. -Advised Vanity Tour”. .”
This six-month tour, which is some dates near the halfway point, finds Yankovich shunning the parody songs he’s known for in favor of his “extremely unpopular” songs.
These songs spanned the gamut of musical styles of the 70s, 80s and 90s – from the heavy riff rock a la Black Sabbath to the power pop of “Why Does This Always Happen to Me”, the edgy new wave of “Your Horoscope for Today”. . and the doo-wopish vocal harmony filled “One More Minute,” the reggae of “Gonna Buy Me a Condo,” and the zydeco of “My Baby’s in Love with Eddie Vedder,” where, if nothing else, Yankovic demonstrated that he could play the Cajun-style accordion with the best of them.
To be fair, the whole show demonstrated that Yankovic and his band could very easily have been serious rock hitmakers over the past four decades – except for the fact that Yankovic is a comic book genius and doesn’t can help but write hilarious songs.
Among those is “Melanie,” a gorgeous 60s pop ballad with a soaring hook of a chorus that happens to be from the perspective of an ultra-scary stalker — a perfect combination for Yankovich, who, sitting on a stool for the entire show, threw himself into the songs, bouncing his legs, flailing his arms, and getting into some really weird characters.
Some pop culture references to the 80s and 90s are getting a bit dated. But in the “Dare to Be Stupid” self-definition, Yankovic references YouTube and Kim Kardashian alongside Steven Seagal and “Wayne’s World 2,” and keeps rolling. And “Mr. Popeil” is still a perfect shot of the Pocket Fisherman’s TV pitchman, even though those ads no longer hit the airwaves.
After closing out the main set with a crazy, extended version of “Albuquerque,” Yankovich and the band didn’t make their way to the dressing room, hilariously lounging around the sides of the stage as if behind a curtain.
They then “returned” for a white-hot cover of Elvis Costello’s “Radio, Radio” before ending the show with a medley of his signature parody songs linking “Amish Paradise”, “Smells Like Nirvana”, “White & Nerdy”, “Word Crimes”, and “Yoda”.
It was a guaranteed crowd pleaser way to end the show. But, the night was so much fun and the whole hour and 50 minute performance so impressive that it probably wasn’t necessary.
As for the film, Yankovic assured the audience that the recording was real – and will be unique to Lincoln.
“We don’t do this anywhere else,” he said. “You are going to be movie stars.”
Well, maybe. We’ll have to see if the Lied crowd gets a few seconds of fame when “Weird” hits the Roku channel this fall.
It could have been a cup of coffee or a roller skate. It was definitely not a soccer ball.
An aging actress and her nurse encounter mysterious forces during a remote Scottish retreat in this psychological thriller that eschews horror clichés while transforming itself with its haunting performances and visuals.
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