Last weekend I went to my 6th Weird Al Yankovic concert (only 6? What kind of fan am I?). It was also my first time at the Apollo and my first time in Harlem.
I drove up to Albany to take a train down to Penn Station. I’ve never taken a trip on a train, but it definitly beats driving for three boring hours followed by bumper-to-bumper Mad Maxcapades in the concrete jungle the last stretch. I made several key mistakes when boarding the train, all of which involve the seat I choose. When I boarded, the car was nearly empty. I had the pick of any seat. The seat up front with 4 yards of leg room was available. I confidently selected the seat on the other side, which was the only seat that had another seat in front of it, facing it.
Also, the opposite side had a glorious sunset lake view the entire evening:
While my side had miles of stick brush ditch the entire journey:
Despite this, I made it alive and got my boiled sauerkraut street dog.
Speaking of food, before the show, we went to The Red Rooster in Harlem for drinks and dinner. The meal started with spicy chicken and waffles with sour pickles:
For the main course, I had Teddy’s Block Party Ribs:
The concert was a blast. It opened with the fantastic Emo Phillips. He’s definitely a great opening act for Weird Al fans, I think the only audience members who didn’t appreciate Emo were the three young adults and 27 kicking children of the family who sat around us. For the first 20 minutes of the show, the adults stood around contemplating the optimal seating arrangements on the tickets they likely purchased over a month ago. There was no 15-minute stretch where these knuckleheads didn’t shuffle seating configurations around us. Fortunately, halfway through the show, they decided that they were in the wrong theater altogether and left.
Al and the band are always great. I loved the show. I would have liked to hear some of my favorite deep cuts, but it is a dice roll since each night he has a different set list. I’m not dissatisfied, but if he could have crammed another 20 songs into the night I wouldn’t have stopped him. One of my favorite moments were the mixed-genre “acoustic medley” of his most famous tracks, including a blues version of Eat It, a knee-slapping I Love Rocky Road, and a ballad of Like a Surgeon.
This tour, known as the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour for short, was made for Weird Al fans like me, but I think anyone with half a soul would have enjoyed it. You wouldn’t think so, based on the full name:
Steph wasn’t exactly into Weird Al before the concert, but the night was a birthday present to yours truly. She seemed to have a great time, and I’m pretty sure she is now a huge superfan like me.
That said, the merch table had something that was clearly not for anyone else but me: