Note from the writer: The date of the photo caption I feel the need to clarify on; the performance was during the evening of July 2, 2019, although the meet-and-greet festivities were very close to the midnight hour of July 3.
Back when I introduced myself last July, I forgot to mention one of my favorite music artists. I had seen this person live three times in the past.
But now, that number is four.
On Feb. 4, I made a near-seven hour drive to Springfield, Illinois, seeing “Weird Al” Yankovic perform his latest extravaganza: "The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour." This stop was originally scheduled for last May, but got postponed because of COVID-19.
Typically, Yankovic’s concert tours during his career of nearly five decades have included his parodies of hit songs, video screens, costumes and props. That's not the case for The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour.
After a stirring opening act from one of Yankovic’s closest friends, comedian Emo Philips, the “Weird” one on vocals and accordion led his bandmates (guitarist Jim “Kimo” West, drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, bassist Stephen Jay and keyboardist Ruben Valtierra) out on stage. Without hesitation, they got right to the music — pastiches and originals — as Yankovic gave the occasional banter between.
As much as the costumes, props, parodies and video screens on the regular tours are a blast, these vanity tours have been arguably better. However, that is just me saying that, so if you are expecting to hear “Eat It” or “Fat,” prepare for disappointment.
Following the concert, I got the opportunity to meet Yankovic (although it isn’t my first time). On the first tour I attended, I met him by his band bus in the dark, no photo at all.
The next two tours as a “VIP,” I was waiting in line before getting a photo taken right next to Yankovic. Cool, I have proof!
However, this tour was definitely unique, because of COVID-19. Myself and others waited in line, keeping our distance between each other, as on the other side of a “clear safety partition” was Yankovic.
Suddenly, I was up next. We waved at each other, posed for a photo (the partition was “magically removed” when they sent it to me), and just like that, another meeting had come to a close.
As I mentioned earlier, Yankovic has been doing this for nearly five decades. While I was satisfied to have seen him live at least once, I always wonder if the tour that he’s currently on is the last, because this man is 63, after all. However, if Yankovic and his band continue touring, then I will definitely continue attending.