Tonight, I saw “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun Tour Concert in my area, and let me tell you, it was superb. I’ve grown up with Weird Al’s music since I can remember, and this show was one that filled me with happiness because of it. I know this isn’t my normal analysis, but please, stick with me, you may like it.
The tour, I assumed, was just going to be the album on wheels, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We live in an age of corporately owned pop stars who sometimes have more passion for the money than the music, but Weird Al is different than that, this show isn’t just Mandatory Fun, it’s a love letter to all of Weird Al’s fans and of his history which has led him to this point in his life. It wasn’t just about his music, either, but about his acting career as well.
The show started with a Live Rendition of “Tacky” with him imitating the music video on our very own street. Already, this felt more personal than any concert I’ve been to, he must of worked on it earlier in the day, because the performance was perfectly rehearsed. There was a giant monitor in the background that played different moments from Weird Al’s television and YouTube appearances. Everything from A Fake Movie Trailer about Weird Al being an alcoholic to his appearance on My Little Pony made it onto there. Now, I know this was just a thinly veiled way to hide his and the “Mandatory Band”‘s costumes, but it doesn’t really matter, it felt glorious seeing all of those pieces of his career, almost like a video scrapbook.
He went on to do many a song, from genre flipped versions of songs like “Eat It” to a straight up rendition of the “Foil” Music Video, counter and all. It felt like he wasn’t just parodying songs, but going deeper, presenting these songs like they would be in their native habitat, whether it be Rap with “White and Nerdy” or Folk Music with “Eat It”, it all felt natural, making the little idiosyncrasies in the songs even more powerful for comedic effect. There was one point that he jumped into the crowd and serenaded the ladies with one of his songs. Another point came where he put together a Medley of Party in the CIA, All About the Pentiums, Handy, Bedrock Anthem, Another One Rides the Bus, Ode to a Superhero, Gump, Inactive, Ebay, and Canadian Idiot, somehow tying all of these songs together and truly showing how great a musician he is.
Nothing trumped the end, however. At the end of the show, he baited for an encore so much, that I expected him not to do one as part of the joke. It would have been funny, but what he did instead was amazing. He started singing “We All Have Cell Phones, so Come on, let’s get real, Cell Phones, let’s get real”. He called for everyone to hold up their cell phones and wave them. He then led into The Saga Begins, and that was common fare. After that was Yoda, and with Yoda, it started out simply, as him singing as he had before. It was funny, yes, but nothing spectacular until the end of it where he called for “Everybody!” to sing, which we promptly did. Afterward, he called for “Just this guy!” which led into many, many laughs. Then, on the final chorus, halfway through it, he stops. It gets dark, then all of a sudden, Weird Al and his Guitarist, Bassist, and Pianist all went into a choreographed acapella routine lasting a couple of minutes with many references to many different things strewn within. After this glorious display, he sang the last couple of notes from Yoda, the entire band acting as if nothing had happened, and after that, it ended, Weird Al said his last goodbye, did one final, silly joke, and it was over.
I came from this experience feeling not only happy, but inspired. Weird Al was and is a huge part of my childhood, and to see him working today to do so many amazing things with his music make me want to strive to do something I love, whether it be this blog, a band, or my acting career, I want not only to create, but to share my creations with as many people as possible. So thank you, Weird Al, for inspiring me every day of my life, and reinvigorating the fire of it.
I know this isn’t a song analysis, but I’m working on one right now, it’s taken a couple… months longer than expected thanks to me moving, but I promise, I’ll keep as well as I can to my usual schedule of Two Updates a Month. I just wanted to share my experience from a show by a man that inspires me to this day. These may come out every now and again when something awesome relating to this blog sneaks itself into my life. Please, if you’ve seen the Mandatory Fun tour, what do you think of it? Also, what’s your favourite Weird Al song? Mine would have to be either Eat It or Word Crimes. I’ll await your responses in the comments below.
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And Thank you for believing in me, and my. I hope both of them are worthy of your expectations.