May 4, 2007
We got up late and checked out of the hotel at 11:00. Jackie asked if we could take a side trip to Cornell since we were, relatively speaking, close by. I plugged the coordinates into the GPS and it looked like it was about an hour away and we would have enough time to drive there, eat some lunch, and still make it to Stroudsburg in time for dinner. Because I hadn't planned a side trip though, I didn't have maps loaded in the GPS for anywhere other than the route I was expecting to take, so I was kind of curious what the GSP would do once we left that area. As it turns out, it somehow stores major highways and routes on a approximate basis, so it knew enough for us to get there, but when we were driving on things like exit ramps and local streets, it had us driving off road. Luckily, Jackie remembered enough of the local roads that when we got near enough to Cornell, she took over navigation duties.
For a Friday afternoon, Cornell sure was busy! I'm guessing there was some kind of event going on, because people were walking all over the place and some students were directing traffic as we got closer to the downtown area. We looked around for parking on the street and in a lot, but everything was full, so we decided that lunch wasn't going to work out as planned and instead pulled into a Burger King parking lot and ate some snacks I brought along.
The ride to Stroudsburg was uneventful and quicker than I planned, so we ended up arriving in Stroudsburg by 4:15. We parked in one parking garage, but on the way out, saw a sign that said it closes at 6:30, and that obviously wasn't going to work for us. I asked the guard what parking garages are open later than 6:30, and he said, none were, but after 6:00, it's free to park on the street, so that's the way to go.
We found a parking spot practically in front of the theater, and Jackie noted it was #27. We walked over to the theater and saw one lonely soul waiting outside. He was happy to see someone else, and said he had been waiting already for over an hour. At one point, the theater staff let him in to sit inside for a while. I went inside and picked up some papers, then Jackie and I walked up and down Main St. to pass some time. We came across a time capsule (people in Stroudsburg must be bad at math because the time from 1970 until 2010 is only 40 years, not 80), and a historic building called the Stroudsburg Mansion, which was once apparently the site of Fort Hamilton.
I called Adrian to see what his estimated time of arrival was and he said he was stuck in bad traffic, but he still wanted to try to make dinner and he'd call me back later with a better estimate. Jackie and I sat ourselves down on a park bench, and waited. We saw lots of people walk by with concert shirts and Hawaiian shirts, so I figured there was probably a nice crowd gathering by now. We also witnessed a guy who had to punch in the longest combination ever on his door lock to get into his apartment. Plus, no less than three locals made a point to emphatically say, "Hello" to us. At least everyone was friendly there.
Adrian called back and said the traffic lightened and he was about 25 minutes away, which worked out perfectly, because as I was talking to Adrian, Helen arrived. As it turns out, she accidentally left her ticket in her hotel room and 25 minutes was just about the right amount of time for her to go back and get it.
On the advice of someone I work with who lives in the area, we ate dinner at an Irish Pub called Siamsa. The Guinness was excellent and the burger was pretty good, though they did misunderstand Anne's order, and wound up taking her dinner off the bill and brought her a complimentary basket of fries for their mistake.
The theater was packed. At initial glance, it looked like we'd be standing way in the back, but somehow we managed to find our way up to just in front of where the seats started. It appeared to be an old movie theater, and there were seats on the side, but there wasn't much advantage to having a seat during the concert because all the standing room only people were directly in front of the seat, so if you sat, you couldn't see.
Again, they made a big deal about no pictures, though it was a little hard for them to police. A lot of people were sneaking pictures on their cell phones, and I even saw a few digital cameras. We were standing with our backs to a "walkway" and security kept walking by frequently, and even specifically told Adrian not to use his camera, so I never even bothered taking mine out. We weren't really standing in a great location for shooting pictures anyway. At least we got our memories.
The setlist was the same setlist as last night, with one major change I will get to later, so if I don't go into detail on every song and video clip, it's not because I didn't enjoy it, it's just because I didn't feel the need to repeat myself.
"Weird Al" Yankovic started off with "Polkarama!" and followed immediately with "Canadian Idiot." This confirmed to me that the first drum solo last night was to stall time to fix a technical issue, as I had suspected, rather than a carefully planned permanent part of the setlist. The streamers for "Canadian Idiot" landed just out of my reach, but once again, I was able to secure a few from the floor once the show was over.
Al called for a planned drum solo, and then they went into "Close But No Cigar." Next was the biggest surprise of the night. Instead of playing "Bob," Al did "Why Does This Always Happen To Me"! It was pretty cool to hear, though I do hope he keeps "Bob" in the setlist as well. Since Jim West has no guitar parts for the song, he just stood at his microphone for backing vocals. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but the faces he was making when he wasn't singing were hysterical and making me laugh out loud. I paid more attention to Jim during the song than Al.
The t-shirts Al wore for "You're Pitiful" were different. Under the gold shirt was a t-shirt that said, "I'm With Stupid" and the arrow pointing down. He took off that shirt to reveal a shirt with an accordion on it. And instead of making a big deal about removing his shoes, he quietly slipped them off.
Al was forced to stay on stage during "Wanna B Ur Lovr." Instead, he just pointed to the women in the audience he was singing to. Jim wore the scarf as a bandana.
During "I'm In Love With The Skipper," Al left his vest on over the red shirt, so while the hat pretty much gave away that he was supposed to be . He took off the vest and left on the red shirt for "Headline News" and removed the red shirt for "Confessions Part III." The rest of the medley was pretty much unchanged.
Once again, money fell from the sky during "I'll Sue Ya," but again, it was too far out of my reach, and sadly, by the end of the show, it had all been picked up off the floor. There must have been some kind of delayed action with whatever machine shoots out the money, because lots of money was still falling during the next set of video clips.
There were no stool mishaps during "The Saga Begins," and the crowd appeared to like the new part of the "Yoda Chant." Once again, the cheerleaders were very well rehearsed during "Smells Like Nirvana." It seems like moving the song to later in the setlist gives the girls more time to practice and results in a better performance.
The crowd went absolutely insane for "Amish Paradise." Stroudsburg is close enough to Amish country that a lot of people can relate, and it was obviously a crowd favorite there. For "White & Nerdy" Al once again came out on a Segway, and the vocals were noticeably much more polished.
From our vantage point, it was very difficult to see anything below Al's chest, so when lied down on stage for "Fat" he disappeared. I saw a lot of the shorter people jumping up, trying to figure out what happened to Al, Jim, and Steve Jay. Surprisingly, a lot of people left after "Fat" and we were able to move a little closer to stage, and in a better stage viewing position for the encore.
"Cell Phones" went over well, and practically everybody there had a cell phone. Al needlessly asked everyone with a cell phone to stand and wave it in the air. He did a little more improvising during "Albuquerque," adding a few more donuts and pet names for his wife. The confetti cannon on the right side of the stage went off about a minute early, and it Al kind of stared at it with a "that wasn't supposed to happen" look on his face. At the end of the song, the confetti cannon on the other side of the stage went off as planned.
Standing up the whole time did a number on my back. Hopefully there won't be any more of that this tour. The place was packed though and the crowd was really into it. About halfway through the show, I recognized someone I know from MySpace in the audience, so I kept an eye on her until the end of the show and then went over to say hi. As I was talking to her and her boyfriend, Yankovic Farley from the Forum came over and said hi.
We mingled around the theater and lobby for a while, and eventually met up with Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz and Al in the theater. Jon told us that as part of the agreement with the theaters, they're warned them about the excessive paper falling from the sky, and it's the theater's responsibility to clean it up.
Security was in the process of shuffling Al out to the bus to do autographs, but he did stop by long enough to say hello. He commented on Adrian and Anne's "Weird Al Is My Homeboy" t-shirt. Amazingly, Arian came up with the exact same design that Al had rejected for the current t-shirt design! He was confused as to how the design he rejected made it out to the merchandise booth.
Al headed off to the bus and said he'd see us there. We talked for a couple more minutes with Jon, then we left the theater to find the bus. We must have looked like we didn't know where we were going because a security guard chased us down and pointed us in the right direction. I've never had that happen before! I told you people in Stroudsburg were really nice!
At the bus, I ran into Alinite27, and we talked a bit while we waited in a line that was about as long as the bus was. I asked Al to sign a piece of confetti, and he did! In Sharpie nonetheless! The security guard positioned at the bus couldn't believe he actually did it. I told him I tease Al all the time, so Al's used to my unusual requests by now.
It was getting late and I would have loved to hang around for a while longer, but I did have an hour drive, and the place had died down by then, so we left shortly after. It's a lot easier leaving when you know you'll be seeing pretty much everybody again soon at another concert.
You can click on the highlighted words above and below to see more concert photos.