Costa Mesa, CA
August 14, 2010
Day two, we slept in a bit later than the first day and walked over to a diner for breakfast, then off to the pool again. The water was a lot warmer, and we ended up staying for a long time. We had to move the lounge chairs a few times to stay in the shade.
After our swim, we went back and got ready and headed to the fair. We picked up our tickets at will call and they were the same row as last night, only a few seats closer to the center. We entered the fair and did the obligatory run through of Al's Brain.
After we got done, we saw Vikki, Henry, Jordan, and Louise in line, so we told them to meet up with us when they were done at the picnic table, and we headed out for some food. Jackie and I got some chicken and rice, and Melissa had fried potatoes smothered in cheese. They were decent enough, though much better without the cheese.
We met up with Helen's group at the table, and Vikki's group joined us shortly after, where we played a game of musical chairs as we alternated eating, and sitting, to reserve seats for Helen's friends who went off to find pizza. Jackie and I left the group to check out the livestock barns. They had Clydesdales, steer, pigs, cows, sheep, and lots of goats. We bought a goat hair catnip toy for the cats back home, and then walked around through the ride area, and the rest of the fair. I found a guy selling Hawaiian shirts, so I bought one and took his catalog. Then we headed off to the reptile petting zoo and the concert.
The place was still sold out, but the seating down by us was more spacious tonight, as a few seats in our row and the row in front of us stayed empty. We sat right next to Jeremy, and Carlotta and Peggy were in front of us, and Kristine was close by too. And I waved to Helen who was further back.
The concert wasn't as great as last night, but still enjoyable. I later found out that Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz gave it a 9.5. "Frank's 2000" TV" and "You Don't Love Me Anymore" were the alternating songs. There was a good audience reaction to "You Don't Love Me Anymore," and the guitar smash was rather violent. "Weird Al" Yankovic's voice cracked a few times, especially noticeable during "Skipper Dan." Some of the video clips cut the previous night were restored. It was the same cheerleaders as the night before and Steve Jay threw his bass again.
For "Cell Phones," since everyone was already standing, he slightly modified the appropriate line so it wouldn't sound so redundant. For "The Saga Begins," there were six stormtroopers, two clone troopers, and a taller Darth Vader and no R2D2. For "Yoda," Al asked one guy standing up front to sing, then cringed as the guy enthusiastically sang off key.
After the show, I got a huge surprise and an unexpected gift from the guy sitting behind me. He liked my during show enthusiasm so much that he pulled the after show pass off his shirt, and gave it to me!
As you can imagine, I was thrilled. But it did mean leaving Jackie and Melissa behind. They were fine about it though and told me to go. Since I totally wasn't expecting a backstage experience, I was unprepared, but Jackie lent me her camera and Melissa gave me a magazine to have signed for her.
I met up with Vikki as the pass people gathered and she pointed out Judy Tenuta to me. I'm not really good at the identify a celebrity game. I once literally tripped over Matt Groening and didn't know it was him until the next day. so it was nice to have Vikki by to point people out to me. We did see Mike Phirman of Hard 'n Phirm there too.
Anyway, I didn't get to talk to Judy, and I'm guessing there were lots of other celebrities I missed too, because Louise left with lots of autographs on her flag, but there was one that really excited me. Jamie Lee Curtis was backstage and she was wearing a "Weird Al" Yankovic shirt! How cool. I never expected I'd ever meet her, let alone this trip. Jamie was very nice to me, and very patient, as I tried to figure out how to use a camera that wasn't mine to take a picture with her. What an awesome unexpected surprise to not only meet, but to get a picture with her, and to find out she's an extremely nice person in person.
The band was walking around introducing their guests to Al and each other. After taking everything in, and not believing that I was actually there, I eventually made my way over to a casual line forming in front of Al. I was designated picture taker for Vikki and Louise, and Al enthusiastically said hi when he saw it was me who was the photographer, and jokingly asked me what I was doing there, and then said I told him I would be there and I was.
As I was about to take my turn, Jim West interrupted the line to introduce some friends to Al for a few minutes, and by the time I got to talk to Al, Vikki and Louise had wandered off, so I didn't have anyone to take a picture, but that's fine because I got to talk to Al for a while after.
I showed him the magazine Melissa had given me, and he asked if he was in it, and I said he was mentioned in an interview with 50 Cent, and 50 Cent said Al was his mentor. He got a shocked look on his face and asked to see it, and took the magazine from me and read the blurb about him. He said he didn't realize that he had such on influence on the rap community, and thought it was cool.
I asked him to sign it for Melissa and asked him if this is the biggest crowd he's played for this year, because It sure surprised me how big the place was. He said it sure felt like the biggest crowd, but there was some place in Oregon that had 10,000 people. But he said the OC Fair was more overwhelming to him.
After talking to Al, I met up again with Vikki, and we made our way over to Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz and talked to him for a while as he gave us his take on the concerts so far and other things. Jim also interuped us again to introduce his friends to Bermuda, and I finally got my picture with Jim.
The crowd was really thinning, so we met back up with Louise and ran into Kristine and a very excited Aron who were on their way out. Vikki and Louise said goodbye to Suzanne Yankovic, and we finally left and walked around for a bit trying to find an exit.
Since we had a early flight the next day, we decided to skip the after party at Kevin's bar, so sorry we didn't get to say goodbye to everyone again, but it just goes to show that even after 94 shows, the Al concert experience is full of surprises! To the mystery man, whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!