Every day on my way to work I pass the Pier Six Pavilion. It’s an outdoor arena in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Every summer they have a concert series. It’s where I missed The Roots and saw Erykah Badu.
Anyway, last weekend as I was walking to work, I saw a random assortment of people in line for the concert that night. I was really dumbfounded as to who was going to be performing.
Now, usually you can tell who’s performing by glancing at the fans. When James Taylor performed it was a bunch of Boomers in their casual wear with nary an ounce of rhythm to be found. Donna Summer attracted roughly the same audience, only a degree cheesier and a notch more “urban.”
But the motley crew that I saw assembled last weekend really threw me for a loop. There were sad examples of father/son tandems. They weren’t dressed like they were trying to be seen, like most concertgoers do. They looked really kind of bland, like the upperclassmen in a high-school cafeteria line.
And then it hit me; it was a Weird Al concert.
Suddenly dozens of thoughts swarmed my mind. That’s who goes to see Weird Al live? Weird Al tours? How boring is a Weird Al concert? Is there any making out at a Weird Al concert? Who is that sorry soul who was conceived to a Weird Al song? No, seriously how lame is a Weird Al concert?
Seriously. I mean one of the cool things about going to a concert isn’t just seeing your favorite artist perform your favorite songs by them, it’s also the occasional cover that’s thrown in to keep things fresh. Does that even exist at a Weird Al concert, when his material is essentially entirely covers?
What is his set list like and what does he do for an encore? Is there even an encore? Is opening up for Weird Al an honor or is it just looked at as part of working your way up the food chain?
Clearly going to a Weird Al show is for fans only. I mean, like I said, most of the tandems were father/son, not boyfriend/girlfriend, so it’s not really a date atmosphere. But does anyone wear a Weird Al concert as a badge of honor?
I’ve got a friend back in Vegas who’s attended all sorts of horrible concerts. She’s seen Milli Vanilli. But at that point, Milli Vanilli was an actual viable act that was popular and cool. Weird Al has never been any of those things.
I mean, really, really think about it. Weird Al’s really got some longevity in terms of being an artist. He’s had hits in three different decades. He’s like Madonna, except, y’know, Madonna performing her greatest hits would be entertaining, but with Weird Al, you’d be stuck there after his shtick wore off.
Seriously, could you think of another artist who’s had as many albums as Weird Al who you’d be less interested in seeing live? I really don’t know who I feel sorrier for—him, his fans, myself, for giving it this much thought or you for having read this.
I’m really, really sorry.
Tags: Erykah Badu, Madonna, The Roots