"Weird Al" Yankovic has become a cultural icon not only for his parodies, but his sense of style and wackiness. Many are surprised with how many songs he's made and how successful he's become, when frankly, I'm pretty sure he is surprised himself. Parody musicians tend to die out over the years, but the fact Al is open to pretty much any genre of music to poke fun at makes him one of the quin-essentials to the music world and the art of comedy.
Al recently released his first album in six years, cleverly titled Alpocalypse. It was a twelve track CD, and his thirteenth album over all. After six years of Al's music coming out in little spurts, it was nice to have a full CD chock full of mostly new material. The one downside, is many of the songs - I believe five - were already released in 2009 under an EP called Internet Leaks. So, only seven of the songs could be officially dubbed "new." Regardless, the CD was great, and it shows now that Al is older his parodies are more about wittiness rather than just pure goofiness. Not to mention, about a third of the album, give or take, is mainly composed of style parodies of popular bands like Hanson, Queen, and The White Stripes.
"Weird Al Yankovic Live! The Alpocalypse Tour is a short, but sweet, concert special showcasing Al's craziness and on-screen antics for those who couldn't experience the actual summer tour live. I had the pleasure of attending his Straight Outta Lynwood tour in the summer of 2008 in Merrillville, Indiana. The concert was my first, and it lasted for about two hours with a twenty-five minute encore.
It seems the concert routine hasn't changed much since I went. Al will perform a song, dressed in an outfit relating to the song, perform it, and then repeat. When I saw him live, it only took him between four and eight minutes to change, if that. While him and his bandmates were changing, a clip would appear on the jumbo-tron from AL TV or an interview he had conducted with a celebrity earlier in his career. It was unique, but it also prevented emptiness and boredom.
Seeing the concert on TV, of course, isn't the same. But the feeling is still there. Al performs songs from his new album like "CNR," "Party in the CIA," "Perform This Way," "Skipper Dan," and "TMZ," but also reminds us of parodies like "Amish Paradise" and "Fat" that made him famous. Al gets into explicit character, showing he truly puts thought and effort behind his tours making sure fans have the best experience possible.
Bless this be a TV special, and not some gimmicky, godforsaken 3D film spat out into theaters nationwide. There is no reason for this to go to theaters for two reasons. For one, there's no significance. This isn't the final time we'll ever see Al on a stage, and two, because it's far too short. Obviously, this is pieced together using editing (thank God it's not intrusive), so we don't see the pre-song videos. Everything happens so fast, there's rarely any silence between songs.
The Apocalypse Tour is successful, but it's not enough. Though it runs for less than an hour, it still gets the job done giving the viewer a taste of what Al's concerts are all about. Fans of the singer will almost feel obligated to pick this up, especially since it's the first mainstream Al DVD release in sometime, and they'll likely not be disappointed. For a big fan like myself - it did the job, just not long enough.
All songs performed by Alfred "Weird Al" Yankovic, Steve Jay, Jim "Kimo" West, Rubén Valtierra, and Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz.