July 10, 2003
I actually had to work half a day on the day of the show, and I was pretty tired because I had been up late the evening before. After work, I stopped by to pick up Allison at the house, we had some leftover Chinese food for lunch, and headed to Wallingford.
Jackie had told me to avoid I-95 through Connecticut, the most direct route, at all costs, because of traffic. I was more than happy to, since every time I've ever driven that road, regardless of the time of day, I've hit bad traffic. The alternate route she provided took us over the Tappan Zee Bridge and through New York, before cutting over to Connecticut. It was a nice drive, and we didn't hit much traffic.
We arrived at the venue at about 6:30, an hour before the show start time. We briefly contemplated finding a place to eat, but finding nothing appealing, and having been tired from the short night's sleep and long ride, I decided to settle for venue food.
After several trips back to the car, due to finding some newspapers I didn't feel like hauling around, and venue security deciding pictures that Allison had painted could be used as weapons of mass destruction, we finally made it inside.
Our first stop was the merchandise stand where I bought the remaining T-shirts that I hadn't bought in California, including a white shirt with the cover image that wasn't available in California. I also bought the bookbag so that I could easily carry things around.
Next stop was at the food stand where we bought over-priced hot dogs that tasted like cardboard, and went outside to find a seat and eat. Anne and Adrian saw us and came to join us. Jackie showed up a few minutes later and we hung around outside until the drunk guys sitting next to us started making a lot of noise, then we went in and found our seats.
We were near the back of the first section off to Steve Jay's side of the stage, but the seats were really pretty good. The venue was nice, one of the nicest that I've seen "Weird Al" Yankovic perform at. The stage was big, the seats were comfortable, and it was easy to see the stage. There were also two video screens set up on each side of the stage, but the place was small enough that they really weren't necessary.
There was an opening act, a local comedian who did some songs and audience participation stuff. He was funny and kept the audience entertained.
There was a brief intermission and then the show started. To my surprise, the show started off with "Angry White Boy Polka." This was a change from the shows I saw in California where he opened with "Couch Potato." I think it was a good move and it worked well. The show looked very polished, as if they had finally worked out all the kinks.
Next was "Party At The Leper Colony," followed by "Your Horoscope For Today," and "A Complicated Song." Before "A Complicated Song" there was a cell phone ringing, and I really thought it was someone in the audience. It wasn't until the third ring when Al picked up a phone on stage, that I realized it was a part of the show. Much funnier than the introduction used in California.
"Melanie" was next, followed by the introduce the band gag, and a fake introduction to "One More Minute" where Al set up that they wanted to play "Hardware Store," but didn't know how. Then there was some video clips, "Dog Eat Dog," some more clips, "It's All About The Pentiums," some more clips, and "Wanna B Ur Lovr," which is by far the highlight of any show.
Following even more video clips was "Trash Day" and the "Medley" which was unchanged from previous shows. I was hoping for maybe another new song to be added seeing as other parts of the show were improved, but I guess I was asking too much. It was strange to see Buddy Epsen lead off the video clip as he had just died four days earlier and his death was fresh in my mind.
Next was "Smells Like Nirvana" in which Al had some fun with the lyrics, singing, "And I forgot the next verse," then just standing there, tossing the guitar to the ground, singing, "Never mind," and then moshing and running around the stage. It was very clever, and added some variety to one of my favorite songs and performances.
Next was some more video clips, followed by "Amish Paradise" and lots of arm waving by the crowd. Throughout the whole show, the audience was really energetic and enjoying the show, The sound at the venue was awesome, and Al and the band were very energetic. I think Al and the band were feeding off the audience, and vice versa.
After "Amish Paradise," the Eminem video clip played, finally followed by "Couch Potato" in a much better place in the setlist. I'm glad it was moved to this point of the show, because it breaks up the ending of the show, so it is not the same as it was last tour.
"Fat" was next, and for the encore, "The Saga Begins" and "Yoda." There were some new additions to the Yoda Chant, starting with a Hawaiian sounding chant, which I later found out originated from the Tiki Room at Disney Land, and my favorite part where Al says, "Everybody" as to indicate for the audience to sing along. Following that was a chant which originated from The Man Show, and Steve adding in a deep bass voice, "Oh baby." The rest of the chant was the same as last tour.
After the show, another trip to the car to drop off the merchandise, and pick up Allison's pictures, and everyone's own personal Cuppy The Stick. Cuppy The Stick is a very obscure reference to a bit on a TV show Al did on MTV to promote "UHF." I believe everybody was confused by it, but they played along and had fun.
We waited by the buses which were in a fenced in area near the back of the venue. Security cleared the area pretty quickly, and I missed the explanation why as I was sitting off to the side, being tired from a long day.
It was a long drive home, and I let the GPS take me home since I didn't feel like thinking. We ended up hitting some traffic on I-95 (surprise!), but at that point I was too tired to care. I'm not sure what time we finally got in, but I do know it was late.
Cuppy The Stick photo courtesy of Adrian Vazquez.