“Weird Al” Yankovic
The Bayfront Auditorium, Pensacola, FL • October 5, 2000
For all those people bemoaning artists like Marilyn Manson and Eminem and looking for a family-safe musician to come along who doesn’t make one long for a wild man like Pat Boone, he has arrived. His name? “Weird Al” Yankovic. Actually, Al’s been around long enough that people who discovered him as a kid have kids who are now into Al. His recent show at Pensacola’s Bayfront Auditorium was packed with families. Little kids in the audience were going nuts for his parodies of the Spice Girls and Coolio, while they tried to figure out why their parents were digging that stupid “Jeopardy” song. A good portion of the audience were not even alive when Queen, the Knack, or Greg Kihn were big stars who needed to be taken down a notch by some wild-haired guy (then) with a mustache called “Weird Al.”
Al not only provides “family” entertainment, but a good deal of bang for the buck. He is the Bruce Springsteen of novelty songs, pumping out a solid two-hour set mixing the old and the new. His stage show is a multimedia event. A KISS-esque lighting set-up is accompanied by a huge video screen that not only allows his videos to come to life on stage but also entertains the crowd during the numerous costume changes with very funny video clips including recut and dubbed hygiene films, clips from “AL-TV”, UHF, and his Celebrity Deathmatch bout with Al Gore.
“Weird Al”’s band – who have always been an extremely underrated group of musicians – play with a steely professionalism, never giving a hint that they view this show or the music as a joke. Even though he is in his second century of creating song parodies, “Weird Al” looks far from being over the hill in a genre that he rules as the supreme lord and master. ◼