April 22, 2004
The Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA

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If you’ve ever had even a passing interest in “Weird Al”, you must see him live. His 2-hour spectacle was an extravaganza of over the top ridiculousness. You know, it’s one thing to see him dressed up as a morbidly obese Michael Jackson in the video for “Fat.” It’s another thing entirely to see him dressed in full costume, bouncing like a beach ball in front of an ecstatic sold out crowd. “Weird Al” is an industry unto himself and the people in the crowd proved it. The audience was a bizarre mix of Goths, indie cool college eggheads and parents with their children. All of them knew every word. All of them were Al’s number one fan. In his opening polka medley, Yankovic madly played his accordion while skewering the most dramatic, intense moments from Papa Roach, System Of A Down, The Hives and The Strokes. The highlight was a snap along, jazzy bit of Limp Bizkit that came just prior to a dash through some of his originals, “Horoscopes,” “Party At The Leper Colony” and “Sweet Melanie.”




Then the videos started coming to life. “It’s All About The Pentiums” found Al channeling Puff Daddy with all the bling he could muster. Then he did Nelly for “Trash Day (Rotten Herre),” again in full costume. Amazingly, the costume changes didn’t provide any downtime. Video screens showed hilarious faux interviews (Al asking the questions and the answers taken out of context) with the biggest stars in the world. My favorite bit was with Celine Dion. He tried to take her back to the night that her parents were eaten by cannibals. “What do you remember,” he asked sensitively. Her response, “I remember the smell of my mother’s cooking.” He screams, “That’s horrible!” To which she sweetly smiled, “Those are beautiful memories.” Of course, this had to be followed by his send up of “My Heart Will Go On.” Al turned it into a tribute for pizza deliverymen, ”The Toppings Will Go On.” It was funnier than it sounds.


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One fake hit after another followed. “Amish Paradise,” “Eat It” and “Smells Like Nirvana” were all given the full costume treatment. His Kurt Cobain imitation was most frightening. Al trashed the stage, spit water all over the front rows and caused general mayhem to the delight of his faithful. He ended the show with the epic Star Wars themed double shot of his versions of “American Pie” and The Kinks’ “Lola.” “The Saga Begins” found him waxing philosophical about Obi-Wan and the young Darth Vader while “Yoda” became the final massive sing-a-long. What a stupid and wonderful time.

Chris McKay / concertshots.com


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