‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s Lubbock Performance Was Simply Wonderful
'Weird Al' Yankovic performed last night at Lubbock's Buddy Holly Hall (1300 Mac Davis Lane) and it was really, really wonderful. I saw true 'Weird Al' fans, all decked out in their Hawaiian shirts, leave the concert hall smiling and misty-eyed. It was such a beautiful thing to see.
This was not an old school, full costume and props performance of "Eat It" and "Like a Surgeon." Everyone there should have known what they were getting into, as the very name of the tour is: The Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour. It was mostly originals, not spoofs, and there was one particularly amazing cover, but we'll get to that.
I should say I'm not a hardcore 'Weird Al' fan, and I say that in spite of wearing out my VHS tape of his greatest hits music videos as a kid. Incidentally, he did perform my childhood favorite and a perennial holiday song around my house, "Christmas at Ground Zero." I also really love his film UHF, from which he played the titular track, and, quite hilariously, "Let Me Be Your Hog." It made me hungry for a Twinkie Weiner Sandwich, sadly not available at concessions. 'Weird Al' has always been there to make me laugh and smile, but I know and love hardcore fans, and they are in another stratosphere than I.
My husband compulsively mouthed along every single song, even the incredibly deep cut "Airline Amy," after which he said, "From Off the Deep End. 1992. Spring release. I do not know why I am like this. I cannot help it." A darling friend of mine wore her locket with photos of 'Weird Al' in it that's she's owned since she was 12. Like I said, hardcore.
Emo Phillips opened with a comedy set. It was delightfully dark and transgressive and I probably would have laughed a lot harder had I not had front row balcony seats. If you have issues with heights, do not sit there. You will be frozen in abject terror, although it's a fantastic view for people who do not share my phobia. Luckily, the staff at Buddy Holly Hall are incredibly professional and kind and they allowed me to find an open seat that allowed my heart to continue to beat.
It's hard to pinpoint any highlights of 'Weird Al's set, because I know every single song was someone in that audience's special favorite. I will say that it was such a treat to see his Talking Heads-esque "Dog Eat Dog," that was coupled with really effective, albeit simple, lighting effects. "One More Minute" was pure perfection for anyone ever spurned, and "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" had fans cheering.
However, and this is just my opinion, the best and most impressive song of the night was 'Weird Al,' along with his life-long, incredibly talented band, performing Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." An obviously perfect choice for the venue, but the performance of the song itself was so proficient, so loving, and done with a touching amount of care and passion for the original song. I'm getting a little tear-y just typing this. 'Weird Al' still has the pipes, and he used them beautifully here.
In case you're wondering, 'Weird Al' did dedicate his spoof-montage in memory of Coolio, which was a really nice touch. "Amish Paradise," a spoof of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" began a rapid-fire progression of favorites like "Smells Like Nirvana," "Word Crimes," etc. Quite interestingly and impressively, the show ended with 'Weird Al' and the band doing a series of chants, raps and even crimping, completely in step with each other. It was hard to catch exactly what everything was because it went by so quickly, but we caught a bit of a Faith No More monkey chant, and a proper The Mighty Boosh crimp in it. I think the right word to describe it is 'vaudevillian,' as it was such a specific and ultra niche performance that held the audience in awe.
To everyone who went, I'm so grateful you Dare(d) to Be Stupid with me. I love you and I cannot wait to have more times like these with you in Lubbock.