New Haven, CT
May 28, 1996
Here is my review of the fifth Al concert given on the "Bad Hair Tour." It was the third Al concert I've been to, and up to that point, it clearly was the best day of my life.
My journey began around 3:30. My buddy James Van Dyke and I hopped into his car and took off on our two hour drive up to Toad's Place in New Haven, CT. We had seen Al there once before on his Alapalooza tour so we pretty much knew we could buy our tickets there and get in to see a wonderful show, no problem. After dinner at this restaurant/fast food joint place with a pothole in the parking lot the size of 10 cars, (No kidding! - I've got a picture to prove it!) we hopped over to Toads (pun intended).
What took us by surprise was the size of the crowd. It was only 6:30 and doors weren't set to open until 7:30 and the show set to start at 8:30, but the crowd was already enough to scare us into thinking we should have bought tickets ahead of time. Fortunately, not buying tickets ahead of time worked to our advantage, as we were about 10 people back in the "no tickets line" and were among the first into the show, before many of those who had tickets even got to see the door. We were about ten feet from Al during most of the show. So needless to say I got cool pictures.
The show was excellent. I was happy to see lots of oldies and even impressed a lot of the fans around me by singing rarities "Green Eggs And Ham" and "Chicken Pot Pie" along with Al. The highlight of the show was of course getting to hear "The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota" and the three new unreleased parody songs. I especially laughed hard at "Gee, I'm a Nerd" (Beatles' "Free As A Bird") as it fit my Internet addiction to a T. I also loved his Friends theme song "I'll Be There For You" changed into "Theme From Home Improvement" with the chorus, "I'll Repair For You." Pure genius. The other non album track was a parody of "Keep 'em Seperated" by Offspring, and gives us a new meaning about doing laundry, and was none less impressive than the other songs at the concert.
Al's Medley (not just food!) was incredible. What keeps this man going, I'll never know. And if you thought that was exciting, after the show gets even better. We waited around to buy our Al merchandise and fulfill our evening's goal of getting one more band member to sign our shirts. We got Bermuda to sign the shirt at the last concert. Rubén Valtierra finally comes out and we rush the stage. He signs our shirt and then poses for a picture. Of course our knees are shaking and we've barely caught our breath as we turn around and see Steve Jay. Autographs and pictures follow. Just as we're about to die of shock, Jim West walks right by us. We grabbed him and now our shirts are 4/5 complete, and my camera is clicking crazily.
A couple of minutes pass and by this time Rubén, Steve and Jim are just walking through the crowd signing, posing, and making chit chat with the fans. I don't think there has ever been a nicer bunch of people as the Al band. We're almost to the merchandise window when we notice Steve Jay talking to someone about three feet from us. BERMUDA! We popped our eyeballs back into our heads and I went over and introduced myself. Bermuda immediately recognized me and said "Bermuda likes my sig!!!" I was on cloud 27. It was so cool. Bermuda talked to James and I for about ten minutes. He told me he intends to keep his page up to date with tour dates and while on the road isn't reading his e-mail since it's a toll call.
Then, and here's the clincher, he says to us, "Al would really like to meet you. Follow me." At that point all you could hear was the sound of James and my jaws hitting the floor and dropping below to the basement. We walk downstairs and Al's standing right there! I met Al! He's about to leave when Bermuda stops him and says, "Al, I'd like you to meet Dave 'Elvis' Rossi and James Van Dyke." Al was introduced to us! What a guy.
Well, Al was in a hurry to get out, but he apologized for not being able to stick around and chat. He did sign our shirts and then quickly disappeared. We thanked Bermuda, and went back upstairs and bought our Al stuff finally. Waiting in line with us was Steve Jay and Jim West. Apparently they wanted to pick up some Al merchandise too! We talked a little more with Steve and Jim, and then went outside. As we get outside, Bermuda walk off the tour bus and comes over to us and keeps talking to us. A small crowd gathers around and we all talk for 15 minutes or so with Bermuda.
Bermuda took an interest in me and we talked about everything. He even asked me where I live, and we almost talked him into letting us drive him to his next concert in Valley Forge, PA, since it was kind of on the way for us anyway. Wouldn't that have been cool! Finally, Bermuda turns to me and James, says, "It was a pleasure to finally meet you Dave and James," shakes our hands and gets back on the bus. The small crowd that gathered around gave James and I a look as if they were saying, "Wow, who are these James and Dave guys that Bermuda took such an interest in?"
Well, we had a two-hour ride home, so we decided to leave before something else exciting happened. I don't think we could have taken anymore. I forgot to snap pictures of Al and Bermuda, but I've got the memories. (Bermuda, you owe me a picture, ok?) Now my life is complete and my friends all have heard this story 27 times. Thanks Bermuda, and thanks Al for a really cool concert.
You can click on the highlighted words above and below to see more concert photos.
Thanks to Day Yi for scanning in these pictures for me!