Reliving my Adolescence: Weird Al at Pier 6 in Baltimore

Straight Outta Lynwood

Now, don?t laugh

Or do, because really, that?s the point. As a 20-year-old self-professed ?hipster? who went to see Weird Al last Friday night, I have no right to take myself or my scene cred too seriously.

Weird Al Yankovic?s Straight Outta Lynwood Tour began in March 2007 and reaches its last leg this August. This tour celebrates two significant firsts for Al: his first Top 10 Album (Straight Outta Lynwood debuted at #10 on the Billboard Charts ) and his first Top 10 Single (?White & Nerdy? debuted at #28 on the Billboard charts, but quickly shot up to #9). Both the album and the single have since gone gold.

Pier 6 Pavilion in Baltimore is a pleasant, if somewhat small venue found in the city?s scenic Inner Harbor (newly renovated! Thug-free!). This Baltimore isn?t the Baltimore of The Wire fame. You?re more likely to find tourists and yuppies here. I wouldn?t recommend walking the streets alone at night, but that goes for most major cities. Pier 6 usually houses ?has-beens??this summer Hootie and the Blowfish as well as Donna Summer are playing?but a few gems pop up every now and then (The Avett Brothers, G. Love and the Special Sauce). I saw Nickelback there when I was 14. I don?t want to talk about it.

The Gates opened at 5:30, but the show didn?t actually start until 8:30, much to my boyfriend?s chagrin (he was convinced the show would start within an hour or so. ?Al wouldn?t do that to us!?). Not to worry though, Spaceballs played on the screen on stage while we eager Al fans waited. A nice touch, even if the sun made it difficult to see anything. Al?s fans?from families with prepubescent children to the 20- and 30- something societal misfits?filtered through the doors and filled up the majority of the pavilion?s seats.

I have to hand it to him, Al is a great showman. His show is family-friendly (no more risqu? than your average Simpsons episode), but thoroughly entertaining. It?s a nice change from smaller bar venues where the main act might show up too drunk to perform, but make a valiant effort anyway. Changed costumes for nearly every numbered, but filled in the lag time with clips from a documentary I?m told is exclusively available on tour and contained very funny interviews with Jessica Simpson, Eminem, K. Fed, and other Al-related clips. He started with a polka medley (naturally), went through a few recent hits (White & Nerdy, Trapped at the Drive-Thru, the Saga Begins) and hit some of the old greats, too (Eat it, Fat, Gump). He even did Amish Paradise, another first for this tour after he recently made amends with Coolio. It was a fun show, which certainly makes up for any cool points I may have lost in the process.

And now, to listen to ?Gump? until I can get it out of my head.

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