July 7, 2004
Things worked out really well for me with July shows in my area. There were quite a few within driving distance over two weeks and I was able to take some days off from work and fit six shows into my schedule, starting with Easton, PA.
I spent the day swimming with my sister, who just came off the Pacific Coast Trail, and my mom. Jackie called and let me know she would be at my house around 5:30. I headed over and started gathering my things. I was just about all gathered when she arrived, so we finished packing the car and headed out.
We gave Adrian a call and told him we would meet him and Anne for dinner at Don Pablos. We ran into a little rain and traffic as we got closer to the Pennsylvania border but still got there with plenty of time to eat. Adrian and Anne were already seated by the time Jackie and I arrived. It was good food and we finished up and headed to the theater.
We took a little fun detour around the cul-de-sacs by the restaurant and parked over in the Easton's parking garage. For 8:00 on a weekday, the town was nearly dead. There was no one on the streets as we walked over to the theater. That probably explains why the theater was only about half full at show time, nobody goes out in the evenings I guess.
As we entered the theater, we could hear the opening act was on, which gave us an opportunity to browse the merchandise table. There were two new shirts, in addition to the band and cover art shirt, which were updated with the new tour dates. The new shirts were both the same design, but one was green and the other a lady's shirt, was pink, which the merchandise guy assured wouldn't fit me.
After I bought the new merchandise, we got seated just as the opening act was finishing up. From the few jokes we heard, It didn't sound like we missed anything funny. Adrian got us great seats, a few rows back, right in the center. Anne and Adrian sat to my right and Jackie on my left. The lights came back up and Allison came over to say hi to Adrian. She was sitting in the same row, just on the other side of our row.
Soon the familiar sounds of "Fun Zone" came over the speakers and the show started. "Weird Al" Yankovic came out with a full goatee and performed "Angry White Boy Polka." Immediately I noticed Steve Jay was wearing a red shirt, the first time that I can think of that I hadn't seen him in a black shirt. It looked good on him. Jim West was wearing a black striped shirt that reminds me of one I own, and Al, a blue Hawaiian shirt of course.
During "Party At The Leper Colony," Al went over and put his leg up on Steve's shoulder. There were three video screens on stage right next to each other. From where we were sitting, during "Your Horoscope For Today," Al was standing directly in front of one.
Al fooled a lot of people with his phone gag during "A Complicated Song." "Melanie" was tightened up a little bit or something, because it wasn't as painful to watch. I think Al took out some arm waving and walking back and forth across the stage. At any rate, it was much improved.
Jim requested that they do "One More Minute" next. Al came out in the audience as usual and ended up giving his underwear to Allison. The spotlight for "Dog Eat Dog" was noticeably less bright than it had been in the past, which actually made it possible to see Al's face and take pictures.
"It's All About The Pentiums looked really cool with the goatee. I'm glad he didn't shave it before that song. Al walked through the audience once again for "Wanna B Ur Lovr," and even climbed over and danced on some empty chairs in the middle of the theater.
There were some pretty ugly looking painted garbage cans for "Trash Day," but the energy for that song was really high. During the medley I noticed that Steve has a new bass guitar. It has red lights in the neck, so when the lights go down, it glows.
Al and Steve did some really high leg kicks during "Theme From Rocky XIII." There was a major lyrics malfunction during "Lasagna." At the end of each line, Al said the word "ravioli" instead of the correct words. I guess he really wanted us to try the ravioli.
"Smells Like Nirvana" looked strange with the goatee. The cheerleaders were perhaps the worst I've ever seen. They hardly moved. All they did was stand there and move their arms in slow motion to the music.
I was beginning to wonder since Al went this long in the show without shaving, if he would keep his goatee the whole show. Well, for the next song, "Amish Paradise," he stayed true to the Amish tradition and shaved his mustache. But only the mustache. If you looked closely, you could still see the beard.
Al was fully clean-shaven however for "Couch Potato." Then "Fat" was next. And finally, when Al introduced the band, Rubén Valtierra was surprised that Al actually called him by the right name, since he's usually the recipient of a fake name or joke name at that point. The traditional encores, "The Saga Begins" and "Yoda" closed the show.
After the show Adrian told me that the battery in his shirt pocket started to burn him. Apparently he had a piece of foil in his pocket and it ended up making contact with the battery. Luckily, he got to it before he spontaneously combusted.
We left the theater and found the buses. There were maybe a dozen or so other fans waiting, but seeing how this was obviously a huge gathering for such a dead town like Easton, they sent in the K-9 unit to watch over us. The whole time a police officer and his dog sat watch over us. I guess they wanted to take no chances.
I met Alinite27 from the Forum out by the buses. He had a copy of "The Authorized Al" that he was looking for Al to sign. Our little group passed time by wondering what exactly we would need to do to have the K-9 unit release the dogs on us. We decided that stealing a barricade would probably do it. But it would be worth it just to be able to walk up to Al and say, "Sign my barricade."
Jim and Rubén were driven up to the buses in a van, and the K-9 cop made us cross the street so that we weren't so close. A short while later, someone I've never seen came out and told us Al would meet us, so we crossed the street again and lined up near the bus.
I gave Al my condolences on his parents' death and he thanked me. I didn't have anything I wanted signed, so we just got pictures instead. I ended up being in charge of taking everyone's pictures. And as quickly as he had shown up, he was through the line and onto the bus.
After Al went onto the bus, the K-9 cop left and we walked back to the parking deck. We had some trouble finding the stairs, and Adrian wandered too close to a police car and a dog started barking at him. That's right, the K-9 unit was at the parking deck. In fact, the entire Easton police force was there. During our search for the stairs, we stumbled upon the secret cache of police cars hidden in the parking deck.
Eventually we found the stairs, and said our good nights, and let the GPS tell us how to get back to New Jersey.
You can click on the highlighted words above and below to see more concert photos.