This review was written by Michael Greenberg.
You knew it was going to be an odd concert right from the start.
As the lights dimmed at showtime, the large video screen behind the stage at the Capitol Theatre came to life. There was the night’s headliner, “Weird Al” Yankovic, out and about in the streets of Port Chester, singing the opening number. His attire, which included a garish multicolored jacket, suited the song choice: “Tacky,” a parody of the Pharrell Williams hit, “Happy.” The camera followed him as he entered a side entrance, passed through backstage areas, and strolled into the seating area, where he was greeted by his adoring fans.
With hits that have spanned four decades, Weird Al’s fan base is as diverse as his wardrobe. People of all ages filled the theatre for the two hour set, as Yankovic and his band played selections from throughout his career. And with each new tune came a different costume. From an octopus with an ice cream hat (“Perform This Way”), to a Devo-style jumpsuit and goggles (“Dare to Be Stupid”), to his famous “Fat” suit, audience members expecting a comedian set to music were also treated to a visual feast.
But costume changes take time, and audiences can be impatient. This is where the video screen once again came in handy, broadcasting snippets of Yankovic appearances and mentions throughout television and film history. In case you haven’t been paying attention, there are a ton of them. Also thrown in were a couple of comedy shorts. To get a taste, search for Yankovic’s “duet” opposite the Academy Award winning performance of J.K. Simmons in Whiplash.
With a song catalog in the hundreds, this night’s concert was barely going to scratch the surface, so Weird Al utilized the medley format to cram as much variety into the show as possible. During once such aggregate, he and his band met at center stage to perform acoustic, lounge-style versions of “Eat It,” “I Lost on Jeopardy” (complete with the Don Pardo voiceover), “I Love Rocky Road,” and the ultimate lounge-singer song, “Like a Surgeon.”
Each of Yankovic’s albums have contained a polka medley of current radio hits, and his latest collection, Mandatory Fun, is no exception. Performed against a backdrop of the original videos, “NOW That’s What I Call Polka!” included versions of “Gangnam Style,” “Call Me Maybe,” “Timber,” and “Sexy and I Know It.”
As the night approached its conclusion, some more recognizable tracks made their appearance. “White and Nerdy,” “Amish Paradise,” and “Word Crimes” were all crowd favorites, the most recent gaining popularity by way of viral video.
For his encore, Yankovic capped off an entertaining night by bringing out a cast of Stormtroopers, Jedis, and Darth Vader himself to accompany him during his two Star Wars tributes: “The Saga Begins,” and “Yoda.”
And as that venerable film franchise continues to churn out installments, so does Weird Al, bridging generations with ever-evolving material.