Weird Al Yankovic at State Theatre, 5/3/2012

Weird Al Yankovic
State Theatre, Minneapolis
Thursday, May 3, 2012

Can anyone make the accordion look sexy? One man certainly can. With a production crew, band, and a collection of songs that spans 30-plus years in tow, Weird Al Yankovic shared with Minneapolis his comedic brand of parody music after spending a day off hanging out in the city the day before (see right).

Weird Al opened the evening with his pop medley "Polka Face," which included "polka-fied" songs from Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Owl City, and of course, Lady Gaga, followed up by "TMZ," sung to the tune of Taylor Swift's "Love Story."

To accommodate his many costume changes that would rival any Britney or Gaga concert, most songs ended/preceded another with videos of Weird Al "interviewing" celebrities promoting a movie or project.

Some covers were decidedly more clever than others; case in point, Jack White's "CNR" or "Charles Reilly Nelson" which contained lyrics praising the celebrity with "He had his very own line at the DMV, He made sweet, sweet love to a manatee..." over Miley Cyrus' "Party in the CIA," which was rather sluggish. 

Before delving too far into his huge list of parodies, Al performed a few originals, incorporating "Skipper Dan" and "Wanna B Ur Lovr," which had him serenading the women down the middle aisle and ended with him dry-humping an audience member's face on the way back to the stage.

To be 52 and performing a two-hour show, must be tiring, especially when you throw a 15 minute medley commencing with "Money for Nothing," comprising of "Whatever You Like," "Another Tattoo," the "Rocky Theme," that included impressive leg-lifts, and ending with Michael Jackson's "Eat It."

"Craigslist" embraced the Minneapolis culture with Weird Al ad-libbing an "open letter to the snotty barista at Muddy Waters on Lyndale Ave. I know there was 20 people behind me in line, but I was playing Words with Friends."

"Can anyone make an accordion look sexy?" was asked prior, but can be followed up with "Can anyone make the Segway look sexy?" The answer to that is: no. "White and Nerdy" had the singer expertly maneuvering atop a Segway onstage, and while not sexy, it was very entertaining. Speaking of segues, the majority of the audience knew the intro video word-for-word to his eighties hit, "Fat," the last song on the regular set which had the singer performing and dancing onstage in a fat-suit.

His encore opened with "The Saga Begins," telling the story of a young Annakin Skywalker from Obi-Wan Kenobi's point of view and had Darth Vader and Storm Troopers dancing onstage, and ended with "Yoda," that was highlighted by mid-song with "The Yoda Chant," that consisted mainly of mnemonic syllables used by Indian tabla players, accompanied by synchronized movements from the band.

Most aging rock stars would kill to have a career as diverse and successful as the California rocker who has made a career based on writing parodies of famous pop songs. This brings us to "Amish Paradise," (which was played during the middle of the set) for Weird Al was sued by Coolio many years ago. The sad story is that when Coolio was here in 2011, he was barely able to fill a club that hosted his special event, whereas Weird Al could sell out the State Theatre on a Thursday night.

Personal Bias: Although I love "The Saga Begins," it has forever ruined "American Pie" for me.

Random notebook dump: The guitarist was an uncanny Keith Richards lookalike, while the bassist looked like a thin Neil Young.

Overheard in the crowd: From Homer Simpson on one of the videos, "He who's tired of Weird Al is tired of life."

The crowd: It could have been a comic-con event.


Polka Face
Smells Like Nirvana
Skipper Dan
Party in the CIA
Canadian Idiot
Wanna B Ur Lovr
Medley: Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies/Whatever You Like/Another Tattoo/eBay/I Want a New Duck/Theme from Rocky/Spam/My Bologna/Ode to a Superhero/Lasagna/Eat It
Amish Paradise
Perform This Way
White & Nerdy

The Saga Begins

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