May 30, 2007
I left work a little early and met Jackie at her work place in White Plains, NY. She needed a couple more minutes to finish up, so I hung around and talked to one of the other vets. She had a humorous story about a bat that randomly fell out of the air onto her dinner plate. Unfortunately, it had rabies and died, but I did get to see it up close. They're kind of cute.
We headed out and were making great time, so we stopped at a sushi place for dinner where we used to go to when Jackie used to live in Southbury, CT. We had dinner there, then headed to Waterbury. Waterbury was much nicer than I expected, or at least the part around the theater that I saw. It was clean, new, well lit, and there were friendly and helpful off duty police officers everywhere to direct traffic, and people. The parking deck was literally attached to the theater, though you did have to walk around the block to get there.
I went in and picked up the tickets at the will call window. I put my camera in my pocket hoping my shirt would cover it. I didn't have any trouble getting it in. Jackie pointed out that there was a new dollar bill shirt at the merchandise stand, so I bought one. As we're walking in, I noticed Bev was right in front of us so I tapped on her shoulder to say hi. Michelle was also with her, but for the first time, was not in her "Like A Surgeon" costume. They were also there with some friends, and ended up sitting about two rows in front of us, off to the side a little.
The theater was pretty nice inside. There were some balcony seats on the side. I wanted to know how to get them. I guess you have to know someone to sit in the cool side balcony seats. Or be a Muppet. But we had perfect seats anyway, dead center, seven rows back. The crowd was a little more subdued than I would have liked, but there were pockets of rowdiness, like the girl sitting next to me, and especially the group of little boys off to Steve's side of the stage. Every time Steve Jay or "Weird Al" Yankovic came close, they'd stand up and cheer and get all excited. Naturally, Al and Steve did this several times to get a reaction.
The show was good. Security was randomly enforcing the no picture rule, so I took pictures, but not for every song, and nothing I was able to set up the shot for. It was unhide camera, point, click, hide camera, and hope something came out. Most of them ended up blurry. It's hard to enjoy the concert when you have to keep one eye on security, so I didn't take too many. Maybe one show this tour, I'll actually get to take pictures without hassle. Is that too much to ask?
"Polkarama!" started off the festivities, and everybody in the band was doing the chicken dance. Streamers fell during "Canadian Idiot," and everyone was grabbing for them. I ended up getting a few.
Al called for a drum solo, then "Close But No Cigar." He must be feeling more comfortable with the vibraslap, because he started setting it off in untraditional ways, like banging it on his leg. He also did a boneless boy dance.
"Why Does This Always Happen To Me" was in the setlist tonight, for only the second time I saw it so far. I wish I had seen it more because Jim West's facial expressions really crack me up. During Rubén Valtierra's long solo, Al sat down on the edge of the drum riser and started reading the newspaper.
The theater got really dark for "It's All About The Pentiums" so the strobe lights gave a nice animated effect to the dancing this time. It appears Al has changed his necklace. Instead of the gold dollar sign, there was now a silver dollar sign in some kind of silver frame.
For "You're Pitiful," Al wore the "I'm With Stupid" shirt, and a shirt with a red accordion on it.
Jim West was wearing his tie for "Wanna B Ur Lovr" like a scarf around his neck. Al went out into the audience and immediately sat on a person in the front row. Two rows behind us, he stood on the seats and danced. De doubled back and went up the aisle on the other side of the theater also.
Steve was keeping really active during the medley. He looked like he was having a lot of fun. There was a new stage manager that came out and held the harmonica up to the microphone during "Ode To A Superhero." The band disappeared into the darkness for "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" and made a grand entrance out of nowhere for the radio solo, then disappeared into the darkness just as quickly.
For most of the show, the looked a lot more relaxed up there now, as opposed to the previous shows I saw. The exception was during "I'll Sue Ya", where they were not as active or comfortable. It was a good performance, but for whatever reason, it came off like they were going through the motions. I finally did get a dollar bill! I thought they'd be out of reach, but one fell close enough to Jackie that she could grab it. I immediately put it safely away in my wallet so I wouldn't lose it this time.
Next was "The Saga Begins" followed by "Yoda." During "Yoda" a lone dollar bill fell from the scaffolding. It was kind of amusing to see this single bill falling for the wrong song, and it made me chuckle.
"Smells Like Nirvana" was really high energy. Steve went over to the side of the stage and rested his back against the wall. At the end of the song, he tossed his bass guitar a couple inches straight up at the end of the song. Jim was running all around the stage and constantly putting his guitar up against one of the speakers to get some feedback. We got hit with the water, but the cup landed several rows in front of us.
Al got his usual strong reaction to "Amish Paradise." It took the crowd a little while to start waving their arms, but they caught on quickly. For "White & Nerdy," both Al and Steve were interacting with the young boys in the audience a lot. They both kept going over to them and each time, they would get a big reaction out of them.
There was a new costume for the stage manager during the ho gag for "Fat." Instead of wearing a tube top, he wore a solid black shirt. I guess the new guy is less comfortable than Yogi was. It's a shame, because, the tube top was a very integral and very funny part of the costume. Al forgot the words at the very end of the song.
For "Cell Phones," a lot of people caught on and started waving their cell phones, but it wasn't until Al told everyone in the audience to stand up and wave their cell phones that most people brought them out.
In "Albuquerque" he greatly expanded the list of doughnuts he asked for at the doughnut shop. I wonder if he did some research before the show by stopping at a Dunkin Donuts and committing their menu to memory. He also had four pet names for his wife, including a new one I hadn't heard yet, sucrose elbow. Near the end of the song, he stopped singing and stood at the edge of the stage and looked directly at someone in the audience for a few seconds. He then yelled at them, "Stop staring at me!"
After the show, I gathered up some streamers, confetti, and discarded programs, and then headed out to the lobby. While waiting to use the men's room, a Forum member, NNY273000, recognized me and introduced himself. We met up with Michelle and Bev and headed outside to find the bus.
We initially walked back towards where we parked, but I mentioned that I thought we were going the wrong direction because I didn't see any way that a bus could be parked where we were heading. Bev walked up to a police officer and asked him if he knew where the bus was parked. He was very helpful and told us it was on the other side of the building, and we had to go down this tiny side street to get to it. So we did. We backtracked and found the bus exactly where he said it was.
It was really dark by the buses. There was a small group of people waiting. Through the darkness, I saw Jim, so I moved closer to him so I could say hello when he was finished having his current conversation. He immediately recognized me and asked how I was doing. I asked him if there would be any solo shows this tour and he said that it was unlikely because they still hadn't locked down the itinerary, so it very hard for him to schedule anything when he didn't know where he'd be from day to day. I asked for a picture and he happily complied.
By then a couple of other people noticed him and came over to ask for autographs. At first he didn't have Sharpie, so he told them to wait while he ran on the bus to grab one. He came back, signed an autograph, and said he didn't like the Sharpie, so he ran back to the bus and got another. He was very concerned that the people he signed stuff for were getting quality autographs.
While waiting, another former Forum member came by to say hello. His screen name is doggans, but he said he hasn't been to the Forum in a while. We chatted for a little bit until security asked everyone to leave the loading area and stand on the sidewalk. I took that as an indication Al would be coming out. He came out and sat on the steps of the bus and security asked everyone to come over to the bus and form a line and limit pictures to one. Though the line was short enough that they didn't really enforce it. While waiting on line, I saw Steve off in the distance near the loading dock. He was too far to make any kind of contact, and by the time we got through the line, he was gone.
When I got up to Al, he said hi and traded some small talk. I sat down on the bottom step to get my picture taken, and next thing I know he's draping his legs over my shoulder! I didn't know what to do, so I grabbed the legs and put a silly grin on my face. I didn't know Al was making an "annoyed" look until I saw the picture later. Haha!
Jackie and Michelle got their pictures taken after me. Jackie forgot to turn on her flash so it came out very dark. A lot of people in line after us didn't have cameras, so recruited Michelle to take their picture. She took a ton of pictures for everyone and then collected their email addresses so she could send them.
While all this was going on, Michelle's husband walked back to the parking deck so he could drive over to pick her up. Her ankle was very sore, so it was difficult for her to walk. He offered us a ride back to the parking deck, but since we were close, and it was still relatively early, Jackie and I politely declined and walked back ourselves.
You can click on the highlighted words above and below to see more concert photos.