Everyone should attend a Weird Al Yankovic concert once in his or her life.
And probably only once.
It was fitting that the curly-haired parodist ended his over two-hour main set imitating James Brown, a roadie throwing a robe over his shoulders as he took a knee. Yankovic might really be the hardest-working man in show business. At his Friday night concert at the Arsht Center, a packed room received an overdose of Weird Al-ness. From the opening number "Tacky" (a take on Pharrell Williams' "Happy") to a Star Wars-themed encore inspired by "American Pie," Weird Al was shameless.
Even in-between costume changes, Al didn't give the audience a rest from his wholesome wackiness, with the screen showing a montage of Weird Al's imprint on popular culture over the last three decades, from his animated appearance on the Simpsons to a cameo in The Naked Gun. Even if at times it seemed obvious that he was lip-syncing to songs like "Canadian Idiot," it could be forgiven. He left it all onstage, tirelessly dancing around like a human Gumby.
And if the aforementioned reference to a 50-year-old claymation character lost you, you might have scratched your head quite a few times during the show. The 10-year-olds in attendance probably missed more than one of the many references that dated back well before their time.
But when one joke fell flat, there was always another punchline coming around the bend. If your musical memory only dated back to 2013, you could still chuckle and nod at his Lorde cover, where he substitutes "royals" for "foil." Instead of singing about "Blurred Lines," as Robin Thicke once did, Al opted to tackle correct grammar with "Word Crimes."
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For old-timers that thought Yankovic has been missing something since he got rid of the afro and the mustache, he serenaded you on his accordion to "Yoda" in the melody of the Kinks' "Lola" and did an acoustic medley mocking the 1990s version of MTV Unplugged featuring "Eat It," "I Lost on Jeopardy," and "Like a Surgeon."
There were genuinely funny moments, like when he went down to the floor to sexually harass audience members as he sang his one original number, "Wanna B Ur Lovr." But by the end, one couldn't help but be exhausted. Two and a half hours of all the jokes, all the parodies, all the Weird Al took its toll. Jaws were sore, attention spans burnt out.
Still, if that's the way we felt, one can't even imagine how Al still does it, after