Orange County Fair
Costa Mesa, CA
July 21, 2007
I slept in very late for the first time all trip. I had no plans except to go out for some real food so I didn't have to eat Fair food, and to stop at a Vans store so I could get some slip-ons. Melissa took me to a Vans store in a mall and I found a nice pair of green Hawaiian print slip-ons that actually matched the shirt I was wearing, so I got those. We then went out to a really good sushi place for a late lunch.
My cousin Jay had wanted to get together with me at least one more time before I left. He had been considering buying tickets online for this show for himself, Kathy, and her brother Brad. As it turned out, Vikki somehow ended up with three extra tickets, so I called him after Friday's concert and offered him the tickets. We were also able to shuffle around seats so I could sit with them too.
Jay, Kathy, and Brad arrived at the Fair shortly after Melissa and I did. We met them at the entrance, gave them their tickets, and walked around the fair. I took Jay and Kathy to the visual arts building, because they are really both into photography. They liked it a lot and spent a lot of time looking around in there. After that Kathy, Melissa, and I went to go see the animals, while Jay took Brad on some rides, and met up at the "Weird Al" Yankovic concert.
We had seventh row, towards the center. Nancy, Cid, and Kevin were sitting two rows behind us. I was sitting next to some big biker dudes decked out in full biker apparel, who looked very out of place among the sea of nerds surrounding them. One of them was singing along to most of the songs, and the others were laughing so hard that if they weren't fans before, they are now.
During "Close But No Cigar," instead of saying "Are we playin' horseshoes, honey?" Al said, "Are we talking horseradish, kiddo?" "Why Does This Always Happen To Me" was the rotating song for the evening.
Al had a slight wardrobe malfunction during "You're Pitiful." After he took off his black jacket, the gold shirt underneath was already unbuttoned. He kind of just took it off to no applause. He wore the ribcage shirt again, and for the fifth night in a row, the Atlantic Records Sucks t-shirt.
Al came out into the audience for "Wanna B Ur Lovr" and stood on some empty chairs in the row behind me, and danced directly in front of Nancy and Cid. Back on stage, instead of falling to his knees on the pad provided for him, he singled someone out sitting in the left section of seats, and fell to his knees on the left side of the stage and sang to her.
Steve Jay was once again hanging out with Rubén Valtierra's on the keyboard riser during "Trapped In The Drive-Thru." At one point, they were standing P. Diddy style, playfully goofing off. There was a long silence after the medley ended and before the next set of video clips started. When the video finally started, it was only on the center screen. For the rest of the show, there were other video problems as well.
The stormtroopers and Darth Vader were back for a fourth night during "The Saga Begins." At the end of the song, Al thanked the 501st Southern California Garrison by name for helping out during the week.
As "Albuquerque" was ending, Jay, Kathy, Brad, and I literally ran over to the bleachers which is where we were supposed to meet Jay Levey, who was letting us give Al and the band gifts on behalf of Weird Al Star Fund. Vikki and her posse were already waiting, as was Joe Lavelle, who I hadn't seen since the benefit show. As I was catching up with Joe, my cousin Jay noted that Al drove past in a golf cart.
Once backstage, there was already a huge group of people there. The stormtroopers were still in uniform, though they all had their helmets off. Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz came over and said hello to me, and joked that he specifically told the security guards not to let the guy with tattoos backstage. We gave Bermuda a gift of an iPolka t-shirt and he left to find some of his guests.
I flagged down Jim West so that we could present him with his gifts. He said he had to meet some guests first but would come back right after he did that, which he did.
Next I ran into Jon Katz who I used to run into at shows in Pennsylvania, and who was also in the "White & Nerdy" video. Jon had just moved to California, and this was one of his first days there. We caught up with each other while we waited on line to meet Al.
Vikki gave Al gifts on behalf of the Weird Al Star Fund for him, Suzanne, Nina, and Bela. He was really excited to get gifts, and thought that the dog shirt and cartoon design on Nina's shirt were really cute.
I introduced Jay, Kathy, and Brad to Al, and Al signed some CDs for them. He told me when he saw me sitting in the front row on Thursday, he knew that he had to say, "I'm sorry, Dave" during "I'll Sue Ya." He then asked me if I was at every show, and when I said I had been, he looked at me, paused for a few seconds, and said, "Why?" just like in the Kevin Federline interview video clip! I had no response but to laugh.
Next, we posed by Al's dressing room for some pictures. After that, we talked to Steve and got our picture with him. He introduced me to a producer friend of his and asked me to show this gentleman my Steve tattoo. We chatted for a bit more and Steve asked me which show I enjoyed the most. I told him I really enjoyed Thursday's concert because I was in the front row and I loved the shout-out that Al gave me. I asked him which was his favorite, and he said Friday's concert was a lot of fun for him and the band.
Vikki gave gifts to Rubén, and snuck off to give gifts to Jay Levey while my cousin and I waited for Rubén to finish with his guests so that we could get a picture with him.
My cousin Jay wanted a picture with Jim and Bermuda, so I flagged them down one more time now that they weren't in such a rush to find guests. We talked to Jim for a little bit and then we chatted a bit and posed for pictures with Bermuda. Bermuda hinted at another L.A. show and a NYC show that would be added soon.
Because of the high volume of concerts, and because Southern California has a high concentration of Al fans, the Orange County Fair has unofficially become one of the biggest gatherings of Al fans during each tour. Everyone I hung out with was really nice, and I'm really glad that I got the opportunity to go. I'll gladly go back again next time Al plays there.
You can click on the highlighted words above and below to see more concert photos.
Some after show photos courtesy of Jason Greschler.