Weird Al and his one-of-a-kind cosmos rock UB
The musician/comedian sells out and slays show at Center for the Arts
Amid the stars and stormtroopers, “Weird Al” Yankovic brandished his own brand of humor as a force for the good of all on his nationwide Mandatory Fun Tour.
And Weird Al, a pure entertainer, pulled all the stops for his Buffalo show Wednesday night at UB’s Center for the Arts. From Star Wars’ Darth Vader and Imperial Troopers on stage to Family Guy and The Simpsons clips, Weird Al’s performance on the Mainstage Theater could only be described as free and eclectic.
The 55-year-old musician, comedian and parodist has performed over 1,000 live shows in his expansive career – a career which all started with a goofy teenage kid playing an accordion in his bedroom.
He made his entrance by broadcasting himself onscreen, as he meandered through the CFA basement, through the Drama Theatre and bursting through the side doors of the Mainstage Theatre, where he was greeted with a passionate roar from the sold out crowd.
He wasted no time. He immediately jumped into his parody of Lorde’s “Royals,” running and leaping around in his pinstripe shirt and pink-striped leggings.
Throughout the night, Weird Al never stayed in one place for very long.
Between his songs, he and his band would run offstage to change costumes, which included pinstripe pants, a fat suit, an actual suit and Jedi robes among dozens of other outfits.
Weird Al never let up the high-intensity for one second – if he was offstage, the audience would still be screaming in laughter at the videos being projected onscreen.
The videos were as much a part of the show as the music was. Each video, random mixes of popular YouTube comedy videos, TV and pop culture references to “Weird Al” from shows like The Simpsons and New Girl, introduced to the next song he was about to play.
The performer made sure to cover all his bases, singing as many of his hit comedy songs as possible. Sometimes, he would blend together parodies into a long mishmash of corny lyrics and goofy dance moves.
Weird Al’s antics aside, his band shone subtly; being able to cover Kurt Cobain, Miley Cyrus, Madonna and Pharrell Williams songs in under a minute, without missing a beat, are skills honed over years and years of performances.
Every moment of the show felt one-of-a-kind.
During “Wanna B Ur Lovr,” his parody of Beck and Prince, he ran throughout the crowd, pointing and touching different people in the audience trying to seduce them with his serenade.
Later, for perhaps his most famous song, “White & Nerdy,” Weird Al rolled onto stage riding on a Segway and rapped the entire song while doing donuts onstage.
Weird Al, to say the least, has a certain flair.
When the final song wrapped up and the crowd started prepping for their round of “encore, encore” chants, the goofball musician even parodied that.
“I wish I could stick around for you guys and play some more music,” he said, joking. “But I don’t know if I feel like it today.”
Then, of course, he ran back onstage accompanied by four Imperial stormtroopers, R2D2 and Darth Vader for his famous parody of Don McLean’s “American Pie.”
May the Weird be with you.
Brian Windschitl is the senior arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org