Mid-Hudson Civic Center
October 31, 2000
Absolutely incredible show!! Once I found out that the show on Halloween was within driving distance, I spent some time looking for a striped T-shirt like the one Al wears for "Smells Like Nirvana." I knew I wanted to dress up and since I cut my hair and look like Kurt Cobain without my glasses, it was a perfect fit. I looked but came up with nothing, so I went to a cheap store in downtown Newark and bought a gray T-shirt for 99 cents. I had some acrylic paint and took a few weeks time to paint stripes on the shirt. I stopped at Toys R Us and bought a toy guitar, which I also painted to look like Al's. Jackie and Kathy volunteered to be my cheerleaders.
Finally Halloween comes and I drive to Poughkeepsie, not totally knowing where I'm going. I get into Poughkeepsie and it's like a ghost town, and the directions I have that supposedly led to the Civic Center didn't. So I park my car in a random empty lot and ask a guy driving a tow truck through the lot if it's okay to park. He says he won't bother me there so park for as long as I like. I wander around Poughkeepsie, which is still barren of people and freezing cold. Finally I find Jackie and the Civic Center. Attached to the Civic Center is a huge hotel with a parking deck. Now I find my car again by retracing my steps and move it into the safer and closer lot. Meanwhile Don and Kathy showed up at the Civic Center. We hopped into Don's car and went to a Mexican place for dinner. After dinner Jackie and Kathy and I went back to the Civic Center.
The place was pretty big and only about 75% full by show time. There were even some empty seats in the second row behind us. About 25% of the people there were dressed. I didn't see anyone else dressed as Al, but there were some fun costumes. The seats we had were absolutely dead center in the front row. I really have to thank Jackie for snagging those. WOW! Al could literally spit on us if he wanted to.
The opening act was some local DJ. His jokes weren't very funny and after a while he started getting pretty vulgar. As he was about to tell yet another terribly dirty joke, the lights on stage went dead, as did his microphone. At first it looked like it might have been an accident, and he tapped the microphone a few times to see if it was still live. After about 10 seconds, loud music starts playing and a stagehand comes out and takes his microphone away. The DJ starts freaking out and flips the stagehand the middle finger. The audience started to boo and the DJ turned to us and gave us the middle finger too and stormed off the stage. A few songs later, Al's tour manager announced that he was terribly sorry for the behavior of the opening act, but because Al's show is a family show, he pulled the plug on him. Everyone cheered.
That was just the beginning of the wackiness that ensued that night! As the opening video clips are playing, I can barely make out people walking on the stage. I see Jim in what appears to be his "The Saga Begins" outfit. As the lights come up, I was able to confirm it. Then Al comes out in his "The Saga Begins" outfit. The rest of the band is dressed too! They play "Gump" dressed in their Jedi outfits! After "Gump" they shed their brown capes and played "Polka Power!," "Jerry Springer," "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder," and "The Night Santa Went Crazy" dressed in their "Yoda" outfits.
I wasn't sure if this was a one time thing or not, but with the next song it became apparent what was going on. They played "Dare To Be Stupid" dressed up in their "It's All About The Pentiums" costumes!! It was so wild to see Al decked out in his silver suit playing the keyboards and Jim in a tie doing his Devo impersonation!
For "It's All About The Pentiums," Al wore the 'Germs" outfit. And for "Germs" he wore the "One More Minute" jacket. And if anyone actually cares, yes, he licked the microphone stand. This show was really beginning to get wild and we loved every minute of it.
"One More Minute" had a couple of surprises in it. Al put on the jacket and headband from the "Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies" costume and on stage were three Jedi in brown robes. Two of them had a light saber. Al jumped out into the front row and sat on the lap of a woman a couple of seats away. The Jedi followed him throughout the audience as he did his usual "One More Minute" antics. When he hopped back up on stage, he went right in front of Kathy and pulled out black and gold boxers and threw them to her. She was so excited, and I was really happy for her. Apparently it's pretty lucky to sit next to me. That makes 2 scarves and 2 boxers for the lovely women sitting next to me.
Next Al and the band came out in their "Dare To Be Stupid" suits and did "Like A Surgeon." This had to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Al was rolling around on the riser with his bright yellow Devo costume and Rubén was standing next to him also in his Devo costume. Rubén starts to unzip the costume! Then he quickly zips the zipper back up and pretends to catch a chest hair in the zipper. He doubled over in pain and I doubled over in laughter. I had been laughing at everything that is going on the whole time, but that almost put me on the floor laughing my ass off. Rubén starts pointing in my direction as if to say stop laughing. Of course that made me laugh even harder! Then Al puts his leg behind his head and starts jumping around. Seconds later Rubén is on the ground trying to do the same thing. I couldn't stop laughing. It was so wild!
Al did the entire "Medley" in his "Like A Surgeon" scrubs. Behind the keyboards, Rubén wore the cone bra. For "Free Delivery" Al put the jacket from "Eat It" on over top of it. He was also wearing the "Like A Surgeon" beanie. For "Achy Breaky Song" Al donned the "Free Delivery" hat and jacket. During "I Love Rocky Road" where Al does his head banging with Jim, his surgeon cap fell off. Later in the "Medley" he took the bobby pin out of his hair and threw it at me. Because it was so tiny and so dark, I lost it almost immediately. I looked around on the floor in my general area, but couldn't see it anywhere.
Al came out in the "Fat" suit for "Smells Like Nirvana!!!" He even had the guitar and was running around like a mad man. After he gargled, he threw the water over us and started to run towards Steve. I guess the stage was a little wet because he took a nasty spill and fell hard onto his back. He knocked some lights off the stage, but he bounced up pretty quickly and didn't appear too hurt. In fact, Jim and Steve started seriously moshing with Al at the end of the song and knocked him over. Steve almost fell with Al.
For "Bedrock Anthem" Al and the band wore their "Amish Paradise" outfits. And for "Amish Paradise" it was "Bedrock Anthem," complete with the Anthony Keadis checkered suit and Amish beard and hat.
"Fat" was hysterically funny with the band dressed as Nirvana. Rubén was standing in the spotlight for Steve's bass solo and Steve was nowhere to be found. What was really cool about everything the band did was that they just switched costumes and continued to use all the other props and do all the other normal actions. For example, Al continued to do the Michael Jackson crotch grabs and the band still jumped when a thin Kurt Cobain was jumping on the stage. Instead of Santa in his traditional red suit coming out on stage, Santa was dressed in the "Fat" suit. When he came out on the stage, Al literally kicked him halfway across the stage. He ended up landing way past Jim.
Instead of the normal "Fat" jam at the end of the song, the jam had a "Wipe Out" sound to it. It was longer than usual and Al walked around and stood next to each band member as he introduced him.
The encore was fun. Rubén came out on stage in black clothes and stopped, turned around, and put on a "Phantom Of The Opera" mask. Al came out in a Hawaiian shirt and started the song. As he gets to the part where he says, "We all wound up on Tatooine. That's where we found this boy," Jon comes out dressed in white on his knees with an Anakin pilot helmet on. He stood next to Al for a few seconds and the audience went wild. He then got to his feet and went to the drum set. Throughout the song he kept holding the mask up to his face. Jim was wearing his Amish hat and Steve had on a potpourri of outfits including his "Amish Paradise" jacket, and "Bedrock Anthem" costume.
Rubén put a towel on his head when he played the charge music and then the guys did "Yoda." By this time, Steve had changed out of his wacky outfit, Jim was still wearing his hat, Jon was in his Alakin costume, and Al was in a Hawaiian shirt. The band stayed on stage a little longer than usual to accept their cheers and I still couldn't believe what I just saw. This had to be one of the most exciting shows I have ever seen.
And now to wrap up a loose end, Jackie, Kathy, and I were hanging around in front of the stage getting pictures of us in our Halloween costumes when the Yellin family comes over. Duane asks me what Al threw at me and I tell him it was a bobby pin from the surgeon hat, but I lost it in the lights and didn't see where it landed. He started looking around the floor after they started to clear away the chairs and he picked up the pin and handed it to me!! Thanks Duane! I really appreciate you giving me the pin!!! You're a truly nice guy.
We got kicked out of the Civic Center and waited out front to see if anyone was coming out. We waited about 10 minutes and spotted Steve inside. We kept waiting for him to leave but he kept stopping people asking them to sign his shirt. Eventually I was able to find someone to open the door for me, and Jackie and I went back inside. Steve asked us to sign his shirt and then asked us to guard his belongings while he ran out to the bus to get us CDs. He gave us the CDs and took a picture with me and said he had to get going to start work. Steve left and it looked like we wouldn't see anyone else, so we decided to leave.
I took a wrong turn that added about a half hour to my travel time going home, but luckily I had Steve's new CD to listen to so it wasn't all that bad. A very entertaining night, well worth the trip I had to make to get there and the even longer trip home. Thanks Jon, Jim, Rubén, Steve, Al, and crew for giving us a great show and throwing in a bunch of surprises. I don't know how you guys could top this one!
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