Those attending a “Weird Al” Yankovic concert for the first time should not expect a typical performance but may, nevertheless, be surprised by how formal his concert is. Contrary to many shows I’ve been to at Assembly Hall, the floor section is not filled with standing fans but instead, seated patrons who did not stand throughout the course of the two-hour performance. The logic of this plagued me for most of the show until I realized that a “Weird Al” concert is less a concert than it is an elaborate stand-up routine. Plus I guess it probably makes sense to die-hard Al fans not to be standing and moving around to parodies of pop music. The typical audience-performer relationship is broken but at a “Weird Al” show it seems fittingly appropriate so I sat back and watched what he had to offer – a hilarious, subversive spin on mainstream music.
“Weird Al” brings a remarkable amount of enthusiasm to his performance by adapting the personas of the artists he parodies. Over the course of the night, Al’s outfits ranged from the punk look of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong to a fat-suit, an all-black Amish ensemble, and many more. To allow for the quick costume changes, fake interviews between Al and famous celebrities played on a screen in between songs.
In one of the highlights of the evening, Al donned lairs of clothes and slowly removed them to “You’re Pitiful,” a James Blunt parody, revealing a tutu and a shirt that read “Atlantic Records Sucks,” a reference to a dispute between him and the record company. Al concluded the evening with an encore performance of “Albuquerque,” a song that’s weirdness is equaled only by its length (around 15 minutes) and was a treat to some of Al’s die-hard fans.
Overall, the performance by “Weird Al” was funny and thoroughly entertaining but more suited to fans of Yankovic than the casual concert-goer.