Cobb Energy Center October 1, 2011

OK. I’ll admit it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I walked into the Cobb Energy Center to check out the Weird Al Yankovic show on Saturday night. I just wasn’t sure how his song parodies and brightly colored shirts would translate to the concert stage. I mean, it’s funny….but can it be entertaining for 2 hours?

Well guess what; it all translated pretty damn well. I suppose it makes sense…after all, Al and his band have been doing this for thirty years plus, and in doing so have created a truly unique niche. The night was an entertaining mix of live performance and video interludes featuring hilarious interview segments from “Al TV” (including the likes of Jessica Simpson, Eminem and Robert Plant) and dozens of television clips featuring “Weird Al” references. In fact, it slowly began to dawn on me as I watched everyone from Hank Hill to Homer Simpson to Chandler Bing reference him, that Weird Al is actually (gulp)…a pop culture icon. There, I said it. Icon.

As for the musical portions of the show, the band was amazingly tight and there were more wardrobe changes than a Broadway extravaganza. From the grunge-wear on “Smells like Nirvana” to the hats and beards on “Amish Paradise”, the outfits only served to make the songs even funnier. Al and company drew from decades of hits, running though crowd favorites like “Spam”, “Eat It”, “Canadian Idiot”and “White & Nerdy”.

I thought the show had reached its climax when Al donned the “Fat” suit to perform the classic video from MTV’s heyday….BUT; I ate my words when the encore arrived and the band took the stage in Star Wars outfits to perform a medley of the “Anakin Skywalker” song and “Yoda”….while being joined in their efforts by dancing Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. You just don’t see this every day…

Oh yeah, and in case I didn’t mention it, the house was packed with a surprisingly diverse group of energetic fans and the response to each song rivaled anything I have seen or heard at a rock or pop show recently.

All in all, I would highly recommend that if you get the chance, you should make a point of seeing “Weird Al” live. It’s unique, it’s extraordinarily entertaining, and he is one of a kind…in fact, almost legendary. Keep it coming Al…in today’s world we could all use a little more laughter…