A few weeks back, my friend Jon jokingly sent me an instant message admonishing me for not knowing about the Insane Clown Posse coming to Columbus for a concert. This started a conversation of acts we’d want to see if they ever performed locally or things you should see once before you die (such as the Harlem Globetrotters or Carrot Top). We both immediately went to Weird Al. After a quick Google search, I found out that Weird Al would be performing in Columbus within a month. Our nerd dreams were coming true. Tickets had a face value of $30 and with the Ticketmaster surcharges, the final price landed just north of $40. I thought this was somewhat expensive for a Tuesday night concert, but seeing Weird Al live had the potential to be an unforgettable night. Unfortunately, Weird Al didn’t deliver.
The doors to the Newport opened promptly at 7pm. We arrived to campus a little bit later around 7:45pm and stopped at a Red Robin Burger Works on the way for a quick dinner. We entered the Newport at 8:15pm and were both surprised that there wasn’t an opening act and Weird Al had already been on stage for 15 minutes. Neither of us recognized the song he was performing as we walked in, but he was dressed up like Jack Hannah.
The format of the concert was that Weird Al would perform a song, then go off stage somewhere and change while the crowd was shown a video on the ginormous video screen. Most of the videos were of Weird Al conducting fake interviews with various celebrities or various mentions and appearances in television or movies. The videos were ok, but probably were better off being shown on Youtube rather than paying $40+ to see them.
The show lasted about an hour and forty minutes. It featured one encore, and in the end, felt entirely hollow. Weird Al never spoke to the crowd and was seemed to be changing outfits more than performing. I know it was Columbus, Ohio on a Tuesday night, but there was still an enthusiastic crowd of around 2000 who spent a lot of money. It seemed apparent that Weird Al was going through the motions. I would have liked if Weird Al engaged the crowd and told a quick story on the background of the song or his inspiration. That would have made for a much more memorable concert. In the end, like the Harlem Globetrotters, I can tell my grandchildren that I saw them live and it wasn’t worth the hype.
Final Grade – C-
If you have any Weird Al stories or concerts you want to discuss, feel free to drop a note in the comments box (and before everyone tells me what a Homer I am, the Carrot Top reference was a joke).
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