There are some concerts that, as soon as they are announced, you have to just stop everything to make sure you get a ticket. This was one such concert.
For me, like many others in the venue, it was an opportunity to see Weird Al Yankovic live in the flash.
I had been hoping he would be a residency at the Edinburgh Festival one year, I never thought he would venture to Belfast.
There was a Dublin concert announced. I decided to hold out and hope for a Belfast gig. My prayers were answered.
This concert was announced in mid February. It had been a long seven and a half month wait for this night.
As fans waited for him to appear on stage, a fire door was opened in the venue, prompting speculation of a grand entrance. Or maybe people were reading too much into it? Sometimes, a fire door would be opened to let a bit of fresh air in, or to let a member of the road crew in or out.
His band appeared on stage but Al was nowhere to be seen. Eventually, he appeared on the LED screen in the background, standing in a street. On closer inspection, that street looked familiar, it was Linenhall Street, just around the corner from The Limelight.
He then casually walked into the venue from the street nearby singing Tacky, his parody of Happy by Pharrell Williams, embracing all forms of tackiness.
Who is Weird Al Yankovic? You need to be told?
Simple really, he’s a singer, but he does comedy versions of songs that are in the charts. It’s often said that you haven’t made it until Weird Al Yankovic parodies you.
He also does Accordion driven hits medleys, known as Polka …….. with a varying suffix.
He lifted his Accordion in the air, like a weapon, the crowd screamed “POLKA!!! POLKA!!!”, he simply replied by saying “How did you read my mind?” before doing a medley of hits from 2014.
There were quite a lot of costume changes inbetween songs, there had to be, it wouldn’t have worked if he wasn’t in character when doing his parodies. The LED screen on stage filled the time with a compilation of his appearances in TV shows and movies (Guest appearances in The Simpsons and The Naked Gun are on his CV, though is Simpsons appearance wasn’t shown) and sketches.
He didn’t need to win over the crowd, he was preaching to the converted. They knew the words to every song and sketch.
His new hits were prominent, Word Crimes (Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke), Handy (Fancy by Iggy Azaela) and Foil (Royals by Lorde) as were his classics, the biggest cheer came for his food related Michael Jackson parodies, Fat and Eat It.
All his biggies were there, parodying Nirvana, Lady Gaga, Joan Jett, Queen, Backstreet Boys, Devo, Green Day, Madonna, Billy Joel, Coolio and Chamillionaire.
The crowd were loving it as Al shouts “DO YOU WANT SOME MORE?” and is met with a reply of “YES!!!!” before replying that he can’t because of a host of logistical reasons, before leaving the stage.
He was only winding them up, as he came back on for an encore, dressed in Star Wars cosplay and joined on stage by dancers dressed up as Darth Vader and Star Wars, performing The Saga Begins, a synopsis of Star Wars set to the tune of American Pie.