COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: Weird Al Review

Updated: 08/05/2013 11:43 AM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich



This past weekend I was at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake to see “Weird” Al Yankovic.   
 
I have been a fan of “Weird” Al for over 25 years.  The first cassette tape (yes, cassette tape) was “Dare to Be Stupid.”  I have bought all of Al’s albums and have seen him several times in concert before.  His show is amazing and is also a great show to bring the family to. 
 
If you have never seen a “Weird” Al concert before, it is something you must do.  It is one of the most entertaining shows I have ever seen.  It is the perfect mix of great music, theatrical special effects, short video clips and humor.

“Weird” Al is famous for his parodies of famous songs.  He takes songs that are popular at the time and he changes the lyrics.  Al does a parody on his latest album, “Alpocalypse,” of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way.”  Al’s version is “Perform this Way.” 

Al gets permission from the artists to record the parodies before he does, so there are no legal issues.  Some artists have said that they know they have made it when they get the call from Al asking about doing a parody of their song.

Al and the band also have tons of original songs that are very witty and cleverly written.  
 
Al’s band sounded amazing and they are very talented and entertaining to watch on stage.   Jim “Kimo” West (banjo/guitar/keyboard/background vocals), Steve Jay (bass/background vocals), Ruben Valtierra (keyboards) and Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz (drums) are the musicians  in Al’s band.  Every time I see them in concert it amazes me how good they are because they make all of the songs sound exactly like the originals note for note.

In all of the times that I have seen “Weird” Al in concert, I would have to say that this was the best one yet.  It is the “Alpocalypse Tour” and I loved the songs that were chosen for the set list.

Al played for over two hours and played at least one song off of almost every album he has released.  The fans loved it.  For the whole two hours everyone in the Mystic Lake Showroom was singing along, cheering and on their feet.   
 
Al opened with a polka medley called “Polka Face” and then played songs like “TMZ(parody of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong To Me”), “Smells Like Nirvana” (parody of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”), “Fat” (parody of Michael Jackson’s “Bad”) plus a bunch of his original songs. 
 
There are a lot of costume changes, so in between songs we were all entertained by hilarious videos on a big screen.  There were funny parody interviews that Al did with celebrities and short odd videos.  Then after the videos, Al and the band were back out in new costumes ready to play their next song.

One thing that I really enjoy about seeing “Weird” Al is that it is a family friendly show.  There were a lot of families that had younger kids and they were having a blast.  They had their “Weird” Al shirts on and were singing along with their parents to all of the songs.  I have never seen this before at any of the concerts I have gone to and it was great to see. 
 
Before the show I got the opportunity to talk to Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz on how he met Al and how he got the name “Bermuda,” along with a few other questions which you can view at the top of the page.  Jon is such a great guy and one of the nicest you will ever meet. 

I really enjoyed seeing “Weird” Al at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake.  The show was very entertaining and it is an experience like no other.   If you are looking for a fun and exciting concert that you can take your whole family to, I would highly recommend that you go to a “Weird” Al show.   

For more information about Mystic Lake Casino click here.

For more information on “Weird” Al Yankovic click here.