Sold out “Weird Al” Yankovic Mandatory Fun concert rocks Chicago Theatre

Review by guest author Jessi Moen

So this past Saturday June 27th, 2015, I was one of the people fortunate enough to get tickets to see the completely sold out “Weird Al” Yankovic Mandatory Fun concert at the Chicago Theatre. I must say, it was an amazingly fun show!

Right off the bat Weird Al gave us all a laugh by dancing through the hallways, and the alley, of the Chicago Theatre to his song “Tacky”, just like he does in the music video. Al waved at people on the street, body bumped ushers, and messed with the stage crew as the camera followed him all the way onto the stage to finish off the song.

In between Al’s many costume changes, the audience was treated to different clips from TV shows and movies that involved Mr. Weird himself. These included TV shows he guest starred on, video clips that made a reference to him, and of course his hilarious fake interviews! The best one was probably when Al told Michael Stipe of R.E.M. to “throw out some random song lyrics” to which Stipe responds “We all have cell phones, so c’mon, let’s get real!” which Al ended up turning into an actual song that the whole audience sings at the end of the show while waving their cell phones! Now that’s class!

Towards the middle of the “Mandatory Fun” tour, Al did a sort of compilation of several of his songs, both older hits and ones from his newest album. It was nice to hear him blend together so many of his songs and also allowed for him to perform more of his songs since he has SO many. However, I was a little disappointed because some of the songs he did were my favorites and I would’ve really liked to hear the whole song, especially since he did “Handy” and “Inactive” which are ones off his new album.

Despite that, he did do all his big hits like “Amish Paradise”, “ Dare to be Stupid”, “Fat”, “White and Nerdy” among others and he performed a lot of the big songs from his newest album including “Word Crimes”, and “Foil.” Of course he couldn’t let us ladies down and performed “Wanna B Ur lovr” while flirting with and actually getting up close and personal with some of the ladies in the audience! I wonder what his wife thinks of that song? Oh well.

Al added something new to this show with a special acoustic rendition of “Beat It”, “I Lost on Jeopardy”, and “Like a Surgeon.” The slow, soulful playing of these songs actually made them even funnier (as if they needed to be.) It’s just kinda hard to take lyrics like “got your kidney’s on my mind!” too seriously!

And what “Weird Al” concert would be complete without his encore tribute to “Star Wars” with “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda.” During the songs, Al was accompanied to the stage by several storm troopers and the dark lord himself who all danced around as Al sang. It was quite a sight! He also finished off the night with his famous “Yoda chant” where him and the band repeat a crazy series of nonsense chants and dance moves that get added onto with every new tour.

So I must say that Weird Al Yankovic and his bandmates Steve Jay, Jim West, John “Bermuda” Schwartz, and Rubén Valtierra put on an amazing show that was very fun and entertaining! I was especially happy with his “Tacky” rendition through the halls of the theater and loved his acoustic take on some of his hits. I missed hearing the full versions of some of my favorite songs, but I guess when you have over 100 songs you have to do what you can!

I’ve seen many “Weird Al” shows and this one certainly didn’t disappoint! I give it 4 guitars! Thank you Mr. Weird for reminding us that it’s okay to be completely ridiculous sometimes….or all the time!

Aftershow review by Matt Medlen

Following the main performance and before the group of VIP's enjoyed there reception with Weird Al, a select group of about 20 fans (myself included) were treated to a brief aftershow meet-n-greet. We were escorted to a downstairs room below the stage, and Weird Al came in to sign a few autographs and pose for a couple of photos. It was a brief meeting, but I did get an autograph and photo with him. He was a very pleasant person to speak with, far different from his on stage crazy persona.

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