DVD Review (Posted on 09-30-2013)
...and you thought "Weird Al" does parodies behind the mic and camera just to "troll" the artists, the people he mentions in his songs and a lot more weird stuff he sings about? Not at all; You're seeing correctly: "Weird Al" goes live! Like every musical artist, fans love to see their favorite artist(s) perform before them, and in this case, provide them with laughter and bits they'll remember and will never see on video or anywhere else. However, unlike
every musical artist, Al is gracious to the audience/fans, so gracious and talented that he [actually] sings all
of his songs. That's right: he didn't lip-sync at this event. Talent trumps ego any day—you can tell by looking at today's chart-toppers.
Immediately on the live concert, the audience chants "we want Al!" His wonderful, late, great parents—Mary and Nick Yankovic—come on stage to get the audience revved up to introduce their awesome son Alfred. Al, wearing a colorful Hawaiian shirt, walks out and jams to "Gump." After, Al asks the audience, "ALRIGHT! Are you ready to polka?!" Thus was an introduction to the compilation song "Polka Power!" on the Running With Scissors
Six minutes into the show, and Al think it's time for a drum solo. Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz busts out an awesome, but short, beating of the drums, kick-starting the song "Jerry Springer." During this song, a short clip, where Al plays the role of a Jerry Springer
guest, was seen on this performance—a video for the song that wasn't released on DVD. After the song, something happens.
Al reminds the folks it's almost a few months until Christmas time, so he decided to be a little festive early on: he performs "The Night Santa Went Crazy!" Truly one of his popular hits since its release, and you can see the crowd singing along. Next was his DEVO tribute song "Dare To Be Stupid." The funny thing here was near the end of the song where he sang "I can't hear you!" The audience reacts and sing the chorus, to which Al playfully responds, "I still
can't hear you!" He hilariously goes on: "I can't seem to hear you! What did you say?! One more time! Okay, I can hear you now
Taking a small breather, wearing a red velvet robe, á la Hugh Hefner, Al wanted to talk for a bit about a story his mother told him when he was really young. And when he means "young," he meant 23. On the side, keyboardist Ruben Valtierra is playing loud beautiful acoustic piano—something you'd hear in a noisy shopping mall. Al stares him down for being so distracting because he was busy talking to the audience. Ruben then keeps playing and playing, and Al decides he needs to do something quick. Out of the blue, Al grabs a pistol and shoots Ruben! While Al apologizes, you can hear someone yell, "Good job!" Well, okay, he really didn't shoot Ruben. Only thing was Ruben had a bit of a delayed reaction, and you can see a shot of him laying on the ground breathing. Nevertheless, you get the joke.
With that small comedic bit became a segue to his hit "One More Minute." Here, Al hangs around with the fans on the front row; One of them was a woman who received his boxer shorts! I suppose there was no point in re-printing a picture of his ex-girlfriend that time, and tearing it in two. Being this concert was in 1999, he was already dating, then eventually married, Suzanne. The song itself is funny, and a great song to sing to that person in your life you'd love to see leave, however I feel Al singing this live may have been the final throat-cutting wound to his past loves. I don't blame him. I, too, would, and will, give my past loves a final note with a middle finger, knowing that the woman I'm in love with now has a future together with me. Al wins...AGAIN! He ends the song looking forlorn, similar to the ending of the song's official video.
Pianist Ruben walks out wearing the infamous Madonna bra. A large bed in the middle is the segue to the performance of "Like A Surgeon." Without being too creepy Al sings and acts 'hot,' matching the stage demeanor of Madonna. One funny bit was Al puts his foot behind his head and hops around with one foot! The other was Al's reaction to Ruben attaching a tassel on his Madonna bra! The song ends when Al is handed a chainsaw and swings around with it. Classic! Oh, and you may have noticed the musical arrangement of the song being different from the album version. This is known as the Truth Or Dare version
of "Like A Surgeon" which, according to Com-www, is a version currently unreleased. While the performance was heading over to the medley afterward, there's a kid in the audience wearing a Los Angeles Clippers jersey. He's the same kid who held up a sign that says, "Weird Al Rocks!"
As the medley goes, the audience cheers when "Jurassic Park" is sung and is playing the clip from the official video the moment Barney gets decapitated. For "I Lost On Jeopardy," they play a full-screen clip of Don Pardo announcing the prizes and cash Al just 'lost' on Jeopardy
. Immediately after that song, Al comes out wearing the slick, red leather jacket Michael Jackson was famous for wearing, singing one of his top hits "Eat It!"
Next song had the audience bobbing their heads and rocking out. With two beautiful cheerleaders as his backup, Al sings "Smells Like Nirvana," which including him gargling to the tune during the instrumental after the second chorus is sung. Timeless! It would've been nice to see the kazoos and the tuba as well, but that was good enough.
A clip of a young ballerina gets her eyes poked out by a guitarist, becoming an intro to the song "Bedrock Anthem." I'm sure the gentlemen from the Red Hot Chili Peppers
had a sense of nostalgia knowing their songs were parodied about the classic cartoon The Flintstones
. Al got the audience to sing along to the chorus, which I'm sure will stick in your head.
Just like "Smells Like Nirvana," the audience gets loud again ready to wave their hands in the air for Al's hilarious rap parody "Amish Paradise!" According to Al's official website, Coolio wasn't "down" with Al's parody, pushing as far as Al sending him an apology letter. What ever happened to letting bygones be bygones? Oh well, go Al!
It's been said that it took three hours to set up before the performance. And so the segue played a video where Al was ready to fight off some fat gangsters. You guessed it: all those three hours were done to set up for Al's live performance of "Fat," complete with the fat makeup and the body! That's not the only funny thing; Al occasionally would yell, "Ho! Ho!" when Santa Claus crashes the party. Must be a contest to prove who's the better fat man. Looks like it's Al, as he punches Santa in the stomach and stomps him on the ground. After the song, Al introduces his band, thanks the audience and...says good night? There was still a little over 13 minutes on the disk, so it couldn't be over.
After that bit of confusion, the video fades back in when Al, wearing what looks like the same outfit Jesus Christ himself would wear, to perform his newest hit at the time, "The Saga Begins." A parody song about one of the greatest movie sequels of all time, Star Wars
. I assure you too will sing along with Al, the same way he got the audience to sing with him. Look for it near the end of the song.
Last song to coincide with a song about Star Wars
is his song "Yoda," which is a parody of the song "Lola" by The Kinks. Before ending the song, Al and the band did an unreleased bit on his music albums. That bit is called "Yoda Chant" and the lyrics can be found here
. See if you can memorize that. Then Al finishes up the song, and says his thanks and good night. What an amazing performance!
The extras feature audio options and video subtitles. Two music videos are also included: "The Saga Begins" and "It's All About The Pentiums." As for the Educational Films, they're pure comedy, with Crimes of Carelessness
talking about safety in riding a bike, driving and going to school. The second film Germs and You
is also comedy on how to avoid germs. One of them is closing your bleeding wound with Krazy Glue, burning your clothes after wearing them, and if all else fails, just run for your lives! The B-roll clip of people running away is the same clip used on Al's official music video "Christmas At Ground Zero."
The moment I was known around my circle as an avid "Weird Al" fan in high school, I often would come home and pop this DVD on the player to watch and unwind, during or after I finished my homework. Putting the "fun" in "funny," along with a couple of funny bits that you won't find on Al's official music videos, it's impossible to pass this gem up. Besides, if you were one of the skeptics wondering how Al himself would sound and act live, despite the numerous yet hilarious songs he's done, this DVD will clear all those doubts. And like I said earlier, the guy can sing. Can mainstream pop/hip-hop/rap/R&B musical artists do that? I know there are some exceptions, but despite leaked videos of "secret mics" recording an artist in how they really sound like when they sing live, big Al can hit the notes no problem. So there.
Three words to live by: "'Weird Al' rules!"
Note: there are a handful of songs Al himself never produced nor took credit for doing. In addition, there are music artists who never offer permission to get Al to produce a parody of their song(s). To those who think he's too weird to be a fan of, here's a fact: "Weird Al" has produced original songs ever since, so he doesn't just sit there and does parodies (do your research). For more information, check out these excellent sources:
Songs NOT By Al:
XVR27's Songs NOT By Weird Al:
11 Artists Who Wouldn't Give Al Permission to Parody their songs:
This rules too: the iDL46—Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio! Snatch up high quality sound products from iHome
© 2008-2017 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Beth LaMure for Daisy Force/Moxie Media
JIM WEST: guitar
STEVE JAY: bass
JON "BERMUDA" SCHWARTZ: drums
RUBEN VALTIERRA: keyboards
Tour Manager & Concert Lighting Director: John Lisk
Concert Audio Engineer: Louis Donlon
Concert Audio Mixer: Tony Papa
Producer: Craig Armstrong
for Eyeline Entertainment
Co-Producer: Jay Karas
Director: Michael Dimich
Al Yankovic & Jay Levey
concert lighting director
lighting crew chief
moving light operator
post production mixer
rights & clearances
post production associate
SJC Video Corporation PMTV
post production facilities
tour sound engineer
tour stage manager
Neil "Mongo" Andrews
lighting & sound provided by
ABI Audio Systems
Light & Sound Design
videotaped live at
Marin Civic Center Auditorium
San Rafael, California
October 2, 1999
Dakota North Entertainment
THE MUSIC VIDEOS
"It's All About The Pentiums"
"The Saga Begins"
director of photographer
© 1999 Volcano Entertainment III
AIX Media Group
Melissa A. Stinar
Sang Hoon Lee
Melissa A. Stinar