Review: Weird Al Yankovic at the Murat 

click to enlarge Weird Al - SUBMITTED PHOTO

Weird Al Yankovic
Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
Sunday, May 6

I'll say this about "Weird Al" Yankovic: He's been one of the most consistent performers over his career, 30-plus years and 13 studio albums in. He's also among the best at documenting and mocking our cultural zeitgeist.

Sunday's performance at the Murat Theatre followed Yankovic's typical live template. There were numerous costume changes and a plethora of videos and visual montages in between high-energy songs.

Certain numbers like "Amish Paradise" and "Fat" will never leave the set list again without fan revolt. But newer songs like the Lady Gaga ode "Perform This Way" and Yankovic's style parody of The Doors on "Craig's List" have staying power too.

"Wanna B Ur Lvr," a Yankovic original that's a series of bad pickup lines, has become a concert fixture as well. Yankovic uses the song to wear a gaudy suit and act like a cad with audience members. "The Saga Begins," a "Star Wars"-themed tune set to Don McLean's "American Pie," was replete this time with characters from the film series.

The segue videos have become as popular as the songs in a Weird Al show. On this tour he does his usual fake interviews, this time skewering celebs including Megan Fox and Nicholas Cage, the latter purportedly having a Weird Al tramp stamp that reads "Eat it." A fake Funny or Die preview of a fictional documentary on the singer proved especially humorous, as did a clip where Yankovic portrays the head of the band on the Titanic.

Weird Al has the luxury of having the same backing band since he started. Guitarist Jim West and bassist Steve Jay showed just how tight they've become with their singer when they executed an intricate, minutes-long chant with Yankovic in the middle of finale, "Yoda."

At age 52, Yankovic shows no signs of slowing down. Certainly not physically, and not as raconteur of our popular culture either.

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Wade Coggeshall

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