Weird Al Yankovic puts on 'Polka Face' for St. Petersburg show

25

July

Weird AlWhatever you did Sunday night, it wasn't half as much fun as seeing Weird Al Yankovic perform live at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater. A crowd of about 1,300 couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces as Al whipped through 18 songs and probably a dozen costume changes in 2 1/2 hours.

The set includes three songs from his next, unreleased album. Trust me, you're gonna want to buy it. Here are some memories of the night that won't fade anytime soon.

THE GAGA PARODY: That sly Al. Despite dodging media questions about doing a Lady Gaga parody, he had one ready to go all along, and it was the show opener: Polka Face. Halfway through the tune, it slips into parodies of Justin Bieber and Katy Perry and probably a half dozen other current singers I thankfully can't recognize.

STUCK IN THE ...: Weird Al covered a few of his '80s classics, but his setlist definitely leans toward lampooning more current hits. Still, it's impossible not to love his James Blunt wackadoo You're Pitiful and the faux Green Day tune Canadian Idiot. And don't make me look up the inspiration behind White & Nerdy, but that pleased too.

HOW OLD IS HE?: Weird Al is 50, but he acts about 12 on the stage, swinging his arms around like wet noodles. After the first two songs were done, he took a deep breath and said, "Well, that brings us to the halfway point of the show."

COSTUME CHANGES: Al's constant wardrobe changes would be a distraction, except that a huge video screen behind the stage showed snippets of his MTV appearances as "Al TV" during the breaks, along with hundreds of pop culture references (usually comic stabs) at Al. Even after two hours of the breaks, it never got old, especially when he was skewering celebs like Madonna, Robert Plant and Eminem.

HIGHLIGHTS: You'd think I'd react more to his Michael Jackson parodies, but the performance that really amazed me was his Jim Morrison takeoff for Craig's List, from the upcoming album. I'll never be able to hear the term "Styrofoam peanuts" again without conjuring up the image of Al in black leather pants. The crowd also exploded for Another One Rides the Bus, Al's first hit in 1981.

LOWLIGHTS: I'm struggling to think of one. Maybe just a few omissions of some '80s tunes. But I won't quibble.

THE FINALE: Weird Al ... as a jedi ... with 10 Stormtroppers and Darth Vader on stage for The Saga Begins. Seriously, what did you have going on last night that was better than this?

THE WEIRD AL SETLIST FOR JULY 25 IN ST. PETERSBURG

  • Polka Face
  • You Make Me
  • Good Old Days
  • Smells Like Nirvana
  • Skipper Dan (from upcoming album)
  • You're Pitiful
  • Dare To Be Stupid
  • CNR (from upcoming album)
  • Let Me Be Your Hog
  • Canadian Idiot
  • Wanna B Ur Lovr
  • Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies/Whatever You Like/I'm In Luv Wit Da Skipper/Confessions Part III/eBay /Bedrock Anthem/Another One Rides the Bus/Ode to a Superhero/Trapped In The Drive-Thru/Gump/Eat It
  • Craigslist (from upcoming album)
  • Amish paradise
  • White and Nerdy
  • Fat

Encores:

  • We All Have Cell Phones
  • The Saga Begins
  • Yoda

[Last modified: Monday, July 26, 2010 8:44am]

    

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