What a night! Music legend Weird Al Yankovic was in Austin performing a concert at the most elite venue the Live Music Capital of the world has to offer; the historic ACL Live at the Moody Theater! All the hosts of the Gabbing Geek podcast were there. What did they think?
Jenny: I didn’t know what to expect – honestly. I’ve heard a few Weird Al songs here and there, and know he’s a comedian. But as a live performer I had my doubts – was this a comedy show? Was this a concert? But once Weird Al made his entrance into the venue and I got a chance to dance with him in the opening song “Tacky” – I was hooked. What a show. Nonstop action, costume changes, video interludes, hilarious parody songs. Bang. Bang. A shot to my heart in all the right ways. I was ready for some Mandatory Fun!
Ryan: I have left concerts with my ears in pain but this is the first concert I ever left where my cheeks hurt because I was grinning the entire time. Listening to the current songs and seeing my oldest son enjoy them was unforgettable but then he played older songs and so many feels flooded in–all good, all thanks to Weird Al. Amazing.
Watson: What. A. Show. Something I’ll never forget. Al is an amazing live performer. The costumes were spectacular. The entertainment during the set changes (Al’s comedy and pop culture references over the decades) was just as good as the live show. I took my kids and we all three had a blast. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
Favorite Song Performed?
Jenny: It has to be “Now That’s What I Call Polka!” I don’t know – I guess I’ve been living under a rock when it comes to Weird Al, but the Polka covers he did at the show were amazing. All the recent hits from the past year were all jammed into one continuous melody of polka pizzazz! I dare anyone to not move, dance, clap during any of his polka pieces. Simply masterful!
Ryan: My favorite Weird Al song is still Amish Paradise. When he performed it–I still have goosebumps thinking about it.
Watson: It was a song I had never heard before: Wanna B Ur Lovr. Al got all up in the audience and lunged, thrusted, and sexified everyone. I thought he was gonna get in Clayton’s lap. Others were (un)luckier…
Jenny: Wanna B Ur Lvr has to be the funniest moment of the whole show. You have Weird Al dressed like a better version of Watson’s douche-bag outfit (which we all know is everyday wear) going out into the audience and mockingly serenading all the ladies. At one point, one of the ladies he was singing to sang back to Weird Al and he pushed the lady’s face away from him. Face palm to her face! I laughed so hard, and I’m still laughing about it. No one gets to steal the show from Weird Al, not even pretty ladies.
Ryan: Weird Al opened the show with a live video walk through the backstage of the theater as a way of recreating the Tacky video. Brilliant and impressive and ended with him walking through the audience. Amazing.
Watson: During Al’s performance of The Saga Begins, with the 501st Legion (including Vader himself) onstage, someone in the audience yelled either “I love you, Vader!” (or “F#!@ you, Vader!”…I couldn’t tell). Al stops singing, cocks his head and takes a long pause. Then Vader puts his hands up like “Whataya gonna do?” The crowd lost it. (Ryan – It was the f-bomb)
Compared To Other Concerts You’ve Seen?
Jenny: This is a one-of-a-kind experience. Weird Al is a pro! From the moment the clock struck 8 pm the show was up and rolling. It didn’t stop, not once for technical difficulties, or any other lame reasons to take a break. Everything was built into the show to get you laughing, keep you dancing, and inherently ensure you had a blast. Overall, this is one of those shows that I would definitely see again and again – as well as recommend to anyone (Weird Al fan or not). And then promptly at 10 pm the show was over which already included 2 encore performances. Seriously, one of the best concerts I’ve been to – and that’s after seeing Pearl Jam last year!
Ryan: Funniest concert I’ve seen and I went to the Monty Python reunion show last year in London.
Watson: It’s obviously very different than anything I’ve seen. What’s funny is that despite being a parody act, Al was very much a rock star. He had all the swagger of Mick Jagger. I was really into it the whole time.
Opinions of Al as a Showman?
Jenny: Weird Al knows how to cater to the audience. Not only did he get people involved in the crowd, but he enthralls you with his on stage performance as well. From weird facial expressions, body movements, and interactions with props, you dare not look away for fear of missing something. He totally FOMO’s everyone! And from start to finish you’re never left wanting, he delivers all the goods to you over time, and when the shows over, you are left satisfied. (Did that get weird? …how appropriate).
Ryan: Costumes, props, interaction. This ticket was worth at least 3x what I paid for the value. Other concerts are just performers singing. This was the total package. And the video clips integrated into the show (Whiplash FTW!).
Watson: A total pro. He’s been doing this a long time. He’s done over a 1000 shows, but he made me feel like he really wanted to be there. That’s the signs of a showman. He treats every performance like it is special, because he knows this may be the first time someone sees him rock out!
Any Weak Moments?
Jenny: “Dare To Be Stupid” was the only song where I was expecting a Devo parody and got something totally different. Granted, I’ve already mentioned that I have limited experience with Weird Al songs, but if you’re going to dress like Devo on stage and not parody “Whip-It” then something is wrong. At least for me. I wanted him to whip it good, but all I got was a dare to be stupid.
Watson: Not weak, but I wish Eat It had been performed as originally produced instead of in a (admittedly cool) MTV unplugged homage where he played several songs quickly in a different style. Eat It really did sound like Layla by Eric Clapton. The piece was interesting, and allowed Al to move through a lot of his catalog, but Eat It could have gotten its own spot.
How Was the Venue For a Weird Al Show?
Jenny: ACL Live in Austin is a timeless theater. it doesn’t matter where you sit, every seat in the house is a good seat. And for something like a Weird Al concert, it was perfect for him to be able to interact with us while we gushed over him. My only caveat is that for this show in particular, I probably would have liked to be off the floor due only to the fact that the lights were BLINDING me the whole time. So it made it hard to see Weird Al at times.
Ryan: The Moody is the best theater for any musical show. Period.
Watson: ACL Live/Moody Theater is a tight little venue and was perfect for Al. There isn’t a bad seat in the house…especially from third row, center. Awwwww, yeah! When Al was finished with his cup of water he gargles with during Smells Like Nirvana, he threw it on me, my kids, Besh, and Ryan. We were close enough to say we’ve been doused with Al’s liquids.
Jenny: All in all – I had a blast. It was a jammed packed night of awesome songs, funny videos, and fantastic showmanship. I haven’t had that much fun listening to an artist in a long time. So for that I give Weird Al’s Mandatory Fun Tour: 9 Miley Cyrus Polka Parodies out of 10.
Ryan: When is he coming back? This is an unassailable 10 out of 10 Amish Paradises. I am embarrassed by my co-hosts scores.
Watson: Amazing show. I’ve wanted to see Al for a long time and it was worth the wait. Me and my kids will never forget it. Out of 10 Stanley Spadowski mops, I give this show a 9.5!