Day One At The OC Fair

Pacific Amphitheatre
Costa Mesa, CA
August 13, 2010

Got up Thursday morning and my dad came over to take us to the airport. I accidentally left my cell phone home, so it was kind of interesting for once not being the go to guy, and relying on other people to make plans and arrange meet ups for me.

The plane ride to Atlanta was fine. Though we had a tight connection so we were running through the airport only to get on the next flight to find some part needed to be replaced and we’d be delayed about an hour. But once we got off the ground, it was a smooth flight, except they had no sandwiches so we were pretty hungry. I watched some pro wrestling videos to pass time, and the guy next to me was looking over my shoulder the whole time.

Melissa picked us up and we drove around the airport, then stopped at an Italian food place called Luigi’s for dinner, then off to Melissa’s apartment. Due to the long day and time change, we pretty much went right to bed once we got there.

The next day, Melissa had to work until noon, so when Jackie and I got up, we walked to the bakery and got some breakfast, then hung out in the pool for a few hours. The pool water was a little colder than I expected, but still refreshing.

After swimming for a bit, we headed back to Melissa's apartment because we were hungry, and we didn't have any concept of time. Melissa was already home, so we started to get ready for the fair. Louise called on Vikki's phone and they were already at the fair, so we made plans to call her back when we got there.

This must have been my weekend for forgetting things, because I accidentally left the apartment without putting on my wedding ring, so we concocted an elaborate story to explain the missing ring for anyone who asked. The cover story would be that I was dating Melissa while married to Jackie and each had somehow managed not to figure it out this whole time.

We got to the fair, and left a voice mail for Vikki. While we waited for her to call back, I bought and consumed a gigantic hot dog, and Melissa got a huge corn dog that was too big to consume. And at some point, I also got to try a bite of chocolate covered bacon, and it tasted like salty chocolate with a bacon aftertaste.

We then met Louise and Vikki and Julie at Al's Brain and went in and watched the movie. It was a different setup than last year as they brought you straight into the movie and let you out into the brain facts and merchandise area.

I enjoyed the movie a lot more this year for one big reason. They turned the volume down to an acceptable level during the brain song, so that made it a lot better. Last year it was way too loud. Now I could actually hear the lyrics and how well it was done. I wouldn’t mind getting a decent recording of this song, but I believe “Weird Al” Yankovic doesn't own it, so that's unlikely to happen, unless someone decided to bootleg it and release it illegally on the internet. At the end, they never bothered to collect my glasses, so I got a free souvenir.

We met up with Tony and Marissa in the brain facts area. Prices on merchandise were cut from last year, from $25 to $10 for t-shirts and hats. I guess since it's the second year, and near the end of the fair, they made their money back by now, and just want to get rid of inventory at this point. I bought one of each t-shirt, and the sweatshirt and a hat because everything was so cheap. Now to worry how to fit it all into my carry on.

We all went outside and attempted to pose with the giant inflatable Al. We made fun of how bad the Safety Patrol movie was, and then someone had the idea to take a picture behind Al's back. We went around back and were greeted by a horrifying sight. Al had a giant bleeding stab wound in the middle of his back.

Jackie and I made a stop at the petting zoo and petted some goats, a llama, deer, wallaby, and pig, then we headed out for beer and various fried food while we made plans to meet others. We set up camp at a picnic table as a central meeting place, and people wandered in and out getting drinks and food and stuff.

Jackie and Melissa went to find wine and met up with Melissa’s friend Shannon. Kevin and Cid showed up, and then Joe and Amy, and finally my cousin Jay and Jessica called while I was getting clam chowder, and I went to the blue gate to give them their tickets.

They got some food and by that time it was ready to head to the concert. We made one more attempt to see Al's Brain, but we were afraid we were cutting it too close, so only Jay and Jessica stayed in line because they hadn't seen it yet, and the rest of us went to the venue.

Arriving at our seats, we found Cid and Kevin sitting next to us. Melissa was one row in front of us, and Vikki and Louise in front of her. Helen and her friend were seated directly behind us. Kristine was within waiving distance. The seats were decent though very cramped. We were pretty much sitting on top of each other. We were close enough to see Al and far enough back to see all the video screens, so overall, a good location.

There was a new or replacement video clip added to the channel surfing intro of a guy screaming. I’m not sure what, if anything, it replaced. A couple more video clips were edited down even further, mostly the interview video clips.

It was a really good crowd, a lot bigger than I was anticipating, and the place was sold out. It’s the biggest crowd I've seen this tour. And they were very energetic. Lots of singing along and audience participation.

"You Make Me" and "Good Old Days” were the alternating songs. “Smells Like Nirvana” was energetic as usual, and bonus points to the cheerleader on the right who was wearing white makeup, or really pale, and black lipstick, for the authentic depressed teen look. Steve Jay threw his bass in the air at the end of the song, something I’ve seen him do many times before, but the first time I remember for this tour.

The “Skipper Dan” costume got a good reaction due to the proximity of Disneyland. “You’re Pitiful” had a new to me, I Love Bacon t-shirt, and the Atlantic Records Still Sucks t-shirt.

My cousin Jay commented how much he really enjoyed seeing “Dare To Be Stupid.” He was glad he finally got to see that live as we used to listen to the album together, on vinyl, all the time as kids.

“CNR” gets better every time I see it, and I think this was one of the best performances so far. Before “Let Me Be Your Hog,”, Al mentioned that this was his home town concert with many of his family and friends in attendance, so he wanted to play a special song, but it needed some background. In an explanation that was longer than the song, he explained how it was that it was about a man who has an obsession with being another person’s hog. The next song was quickly introduced as being about Canada. Streamers flew over our head though landed as close as the row directly behind us.

Al went way back in the audience for “Wanna B Ur Lovr.” At one point he kicked something and it looked like it hit or barely missed a guy in the audience. Al went over and patted his head as a way to say sorry and make sure he was okay, which he was because he was smiling and laughing. He sang the line about security to a female security guard.

Cid and I made a bathroom run immediately after the song, which led Jackie and Kevin to wonder if we had run off with each other. We made it back to our seats right as he was finishing “Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*.”

“Craigslist”, “Amish Paradise”, “White & Nerdy”, and “Fat” were solid as usual. At the end of the show, Jim West was introduced as Jim "Kimo" West, which was the first time I've ever heard that. Since its basically their home town, I wonder if maybe some slack-key guitar friends were in the audience and this was a shout out to them. I guess we'll just have to see if it continues or not.

The audience gave a standing ovation and stood for the entire encore. That made the line in “Cell Phones” where Al tells everyone who has a cell phone to stand up, a little redundant. There were 6 stormtroopers, a really short Darth Vader, and an actual functional remote control R2D2, which danced and everything! Again the whole crowd sang the chorus.

After the concert I ran into a few more friends, including Jon and Carlotta, and posed for a group photo or thirty. Cid and Kevin invited us to the bar Kevin usually hosts karaoke at, though, tonight there was a relief host on obviously. I’m not a big bar guy or karaoke guy but the place looked like a fun place to hang out. If I was local I’d go back.

Kevin did a great rendition of “Wanna B Ur Lovr” complete with the obligatory trip through the audience. I said I’d do karaoke of “Dare To Be Stupid” but the relief DJ didn’t have it, so I got roped into “White & Nerdy” instead if everyone would be my backup, and that was way too fast for me. I was in over my head, so thankfully Kevin was there to take the lead and save us from sounding too terrible.