Orange County Fair - Day One

Orange County Fair
Costa Mesa, CA
July 17, 2007

I woke up feeling very dehydrated and with a sore throat. Because I wasn't feeling well, Jay, Kathy, and I decided not to go snorkeling as planned. Jay and I went to IHOP and I ate a big breakfast and I felt a lot better after that. I felt well enough to go to Balboa Park in San Diego. Every Tuesday several museums there are free, so we went to the art museum, and Museum Of Man before I decided that I had enough and needed to rest. We walked back to Jay's car and had some Gatorade and snacks, and then it was time to leave to meet Vikki.

We arrived at Vikki's work at about 2:15. At that point, I started to feel sick enough again that I almost opted out of the concert. Vikki brought me up to see her office and meet some coworkers. Among the coworkers I met was Nina, who would be our concert buddy for the night. Vikki packed up her stuff and we went to the car. Vikki forgot her keys, so she went back to the office to get them while I waited at the car with the luggage. As I was waiting, Nina drove up and told me that she forgot directions to Vikki's house and asked me to tell Vikki to call her.

Finally we got on the road, and needed to head to Lisa's house to pick up tickets she no longer could use. Lisa lives on a little ranch, and as we pulled in, a goat comes over and greeted us. Lisa could not go to the concerts because her horse was sick and needed regular medical attention. Lisa gave us a quick tour and we got to meet all the horses, goats, and cats.

We headed out to Oceanside to meet up with Nina. I wanted to stop and get something to eat and drink because I was feeling weak. We finally stopped at a Subway, and I got a roast beef sandwich and salad. The soda fountain wasn't working, so I couldn't get anything to drink.

We went to Vikki's, met up with Nina, and I got changed, then we headed out on the road. I ate my sandwich and salad in the car ride up. We got there about 6:00 and Melissa hadn't arrived yet, so Vikki drove around until she found a CVS where I got some cold medicine and finally got a Gatorade. I felt a lot better after taking some medicine and drinking the Gatorade.

Melissa called and we went over to the fair. Melissa met us as at the exit and gave us our tickets and we went in. Melissa had to go to guest services to straighten out some ticket issues, so we headed over towards there. On the way over, we passed the stage where "Weird Al" Yankovic was performing and recognized some fans and friends and went over and said hello.

There were a lot of familiar faces at the stage entrance, including Cid, Kevin, Elizabeth, Rachael, and Nancy, and a few new faces to meet including Jeannine, and Kristine. Nancy gave me a WOWAY nametag. Steve Jay walked by and Kevin flagged him down, so he came over and say hello to everyone for a couple minutes. He told Vikki he'd look for her after the show to pick up some gifts.

Vikki and Nina went to go get something to eat, and I asked Kristine to show me her photos that were on display in the visual arts building. She had three pictures there, a picture of smoke coming off of a match, and two pictures of horses. We walked back to the stage and waited in line for merchandise. I bought two shirts with updated tour dates on the back, then went in to find my seats.

My group had good seats, third row, right on the aisle. We were very close to the stage, with a good view of everyone, except Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, who I couldn't see at all the whole time. Nina, Melissa, and Vikki sat closest to the aisle, and I sat next to Vikki. I barely had time to sit down, when I ran into several other familiar faces including Helen, Carlotta, Tonya, and Linda. Christina and Kristine called me over for a picture. I also made sure the clipboards with the Make the Rock Hall "Weird" petition on them kept moving around, and I talked to a few people about the Weird Al Star Fund.

I was chatting with someone at my seat as "Fun Zone" started up. Al came out and looked a little under the weather. He didn't have his full energy, but still put a lot of energy into it. However, by the end of the show, he looked how I had felt earlier in the day. Hopefully being at home, not traveling, and sleeping in his own bed, would help him get better quickly.

During "Polkarama!", he stumbled over some lyrics in "Somebody Told Me" and stopped singing. It took him a line or two to find his place again. The audience was good about it though and didn't seem to mind. There were a ton of streamers for "Canadian Idiot," more than I ever remember seeing. They all seamed to land right on top of me too. It was comical, I was pulling streamers off myself well into the drum solo and "Close But No Cigar."

Orange County Fair

When the Orange County Fair asked Al to come back and do another set of shows, he said he wouldn't come back unless they let him do at least one song consisting of a random string of palindromes, so he did "Bob." In "It's All About The Pentiums," Al stopped dancing at one point, just to stare directly into the audience.

Rubén Valtierra changed his shirt to a white and blue Hawaiian shirt for "You're Pitiful," while Jim West and Steve wore black shirts. Al came out and started to sing, then stopped, and fumbled in his pockets for the lyrics, then started over again. The gold shirt was first, followed by the red accordion shirt, and followed by a shirt that said Atlantic Records Sucks. This was the first time I had seen that shirt, and it was pretty funny, and got a huge cheer from the audience, almost as much as the Spongebob shirt, and tutu. The whole song went over really well. It appeared a lot of people in the audience hadn't heard it before.

Al came out into the audience for "Wanna B Ur Lovr." He walked up to someone in the front row with a really large lens on her camera and put his nose right up against the lens. He walked down the aisle on the other side of the venue from us, and at one point, appeared to be standing on a chair.

In the medley, "I'm In Love With The Skipper" got a lot of laughs, and Al switched the lyrics for "Headline News." Instead of singing about Britney Spears like he did at the East Coast shows, he sang about Paris Hilton. The new lyrics had me laughing out loud several times. It was very funny, and the audience broke into a loud cheer when Al asked why we should give a crap about her.

Off to the side during the whole show was a woman translating the lyrics and video clips into sign language for the hearing impaired in the audience. She seemed to be dancing and holding back laughs several times I looked over. During "Bedrock Anthem," Al came over to her and leaned over her and started singing. She held her composure though and kept translating. The stage manager took out a comb and combed his hair during "Ode To A Superhero."

During "I'll Sue Ya," at one point, Al and Steve had a staring match, which only ended when Al started yelling "I'll Sue Ya" into the microphone. Money was quickly blown off to the side by the wind and out of our reach. Melissa got up, found a few bills, and picked them up and shared them with our little group. I later gave one of my bills to Cid, because she hadn't seen it yet.

Orange County Fair

At the end of "Yoda," Steve got on his knees and kissed the accordion. Al then took the accordion off and placed it on the floor in front of Steve and made a gesture that looked like he was offering it to Steve.

I got hit with water during "Smells Like Nirvana," and the cup landed just short of the front row. Jim ran over to the amplifier at the end of the song to get some feedback.

Al came out on his Segway with no hands for "White & Nerdy." The vocals for Steve and Jim were kind of low during the song, so I could only really hear Al very well. Al got a standing ovation and nobody near us left after "Fat." A couple people ran up to be closer to the stage, and kind of ended up standing off to the side.

It looked like just about everybody had cell phones out at this concert. During "Albuquerque," Al went up to the security guard sitting on the steps at the very front of the stage and stuck his hair in his face. He dropped to the stage floor and started rolling around when the weasels were attacking his face. Even the security guard turned around at that one and laughed. Al stared down Tad Dowd, who was in the audience.

About halfway through the show, Tad sat in the seat right in front of Vikki. Tad was the president of Rock 'n' Roll Records, and is a big cheerleader of Al. It was mostly through Tad that Al got signed to Scotti Brothers Records. He talks up Al to whoever will listen, and he also gets very excited and animated about things. He was having a blast at the concert, and laughing and cheering more than everyone around him.

It turns out Tad and Vikki are old family friends, so after the show, Vikki introduced me to Tad, who in turn introduced us to Fred Scotti, of the famous Scotti Brothers family. It turned out Fred was the guy who secured Coolio's permission for "Amish Paradise." Fred had permission, so as it turns out, to no one's surprise really, Coolio lied about the whole thing. Tad was an extreme gentleman and hung around with us for a while, then headed off to the merchandise stand.

Also at the concert was Tony Papa, Al's long time engineer and sound mixer. I heard rumors that he was there, but it wasn't until I turned around to take a picture of the cell phones during "Cell Phones," that I noticed he was sitting directly behind me. I had wanted to say hello after the concert, but he left before I had the chance.

We had the same security guard that Al sang to take a couple of group pictures of us before the other security people finally herded us out. He wasn't the greatest photographer, so hopefully someone's pictures came out, because the one on my camera was not all that great. Steve came out as promised and Vikki gave him a gift from the Weird Al Star Fund, and a gift from herself.

I was totally drained by the end of the night, but I'm glad I went after all.

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