Hershey, The First Day

Hershey Park Amphitheatre
Show #1
Hershey, PA
July 9, 2000

I got up really early to go run some errands and then headed out to Hershey. It was a two and a half hour drive, but I had the company of Christina and Jackie in the car with me. We got to Hershey about 11:30 or so and made it to the line at the gate by noon. I was expecting to meet Sue or Allison there, but as I was looking for either of them in the line, someone called out my name. There was someone waiting on line that I had never met before, Tara Lyn. Tara Lyn told me that she had seen Sue and Allison and both just walked away to go get something to eat. A few minutes later Sue, Amy, Allison, and Allison's dad showed up. A few people in our group decided to stay and hold our position in line and a few of us went out and rode the Great Bear ride and the log flume and grabbed something to eat.

I spent most of the rest of the day in line and let other people ride the rides. There was always someone around to talk to and the people in line were incredibly nice this year. That was a huge change from last year where the people behind us were real jerks. A couple of times I walked up and down the line to see who was around. I ran into Tracy and Sharon and talked to Tracy for a little while. I also saw Steve Shilling and the Yellin family again.

Waiting in line was really hot, since there was no shade. Everyone was switching on and off to keep from getting overheated. The Hershey staff took pity on us and let everyone into the theater after sound check had been performed. Everyone ran in and grabbed seats. Our group lucked out and got the first row. We took up the entire first row of the middle section from Al over to Steve Jay. I was sitting near the end, right in front of Steve. The Yellin family was seated right next to me. The show was shortened, only about an hour. Al basically cut out the middle section of the show and played "Gump", "Polka Power!," the drum solo, "Jerry Springer," "The Night Santa Went Crazy," "It's All About The Pentiums," "Smells Like Nirvana," "Amish Paradise," "Fat," "The Saga Begins," and "Yoda."

Hershey Park Amphitheatre

Since I knew the bubble machines were broken (see Westbury review), Jackie and I had collected a bunch of tiny little bubble containers from a wedding reception we had attended the night before. I gave the bubble out to everyone in our group and all of the people I knew at the show. We had a plan that during the "Closing Time" part of the "Polka Power!" we would all take out our bubbles and be the surrogate bubble machine. So we did. And the audience and Al loved it! You could see Al was smiling while he was singing and playing the accordion. The rest of the place was cheering. The only people who didn't find it humorous were the security guards, who came over after the song had ended and asked us to stop. We had thought about bringing them out again for "Yoda" but didn't want to cause any trouble with security.

The show was a riot. I was having a blast. The snow fell heavy on us for "The Night Santa Went Crazy" and Darth Rubén was having fun during the intro to "The Saga Begins." After "Fat," Danny Brant, who was still subbing for Jim West, was running all over the stage. He really enjoys himself up there. It must be such a dream for him to be onstage playing with Weird Al. Al posed for a lot of pictures for us during the show. Steve and Danny smiled at us a few times. Even Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz was peeking over his cymbals to see what was going on. The stage was pretty small as far as venues go, but I like the intimate setting at Hershey.

The highlight of the show for me, and one of the many on the tour for me, was during my favorite concert song, "Smells Like Nirvana." I was taking a picture of Al, as he was getting ready to do his gargling. I snapped a picture of him gargling and went to go place my camera down on my bag which was on the ground. Next thing I know I look up and the entire contents of the cup are headed right for me. I got hit right in the chest with the water. I was soaked and caught by surprise. I snapped back into it when the yellow cup came flying right at me. I was totally shocked. It was awesome! I just started laughing out loud for the rest of the song. Al threw the water right at me. I'm so happy! Thanks Al!!!

After the show, Christina, Jackie, and I headed back to the car to drop off the cup and our cameras and some other stuff. We then rode the Chocolate World ride and got our free chocolate bar. We headed back to the park and met back up with Sue, Tara Lyn, Amy, Allison, and her dad. After a hot day in the sun, everyone wanted to be soaking wet so we went on this giant water ride called The Tidal Wave that sends you down a hill and drenches you with water. It felt like I was under Niagara Falls. The water felt nice, but it had started to cool off a bit and I was cold, so Tara Lyn lent me her dry sweater to keep warm. Thanks Tara Lyn! We headed on the new wooden Lightning Racer racing roller coasters to dry off a bit. That was totally awesome. It was so fast and so much fun, we knew we had to go on it again the next day. One thing we noticed was that lines were incredibly short for everything. We could almost walk right onto any ride we wanted and not have to wait for more than a few cars to load and head off. Next Christina, Jackie, and I rode the Wildcat, which was a bit rough. Allison and her dad headed off, and the rest of the group had some dinner in the park, stopped at Wal-Mart for dry socks, and then went back to the hotel and crashed.

Hershey Park Amphitheatre

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