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- Posted on Nov 6th 2010 5:00PM by Jason Cohen
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"He who's tired of Weird Al is tired of life," Homer Simpson once said while playing an erstwhile grunge-rock icon on 'The Simpsons.' And no one at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas this weekend showed any signs of being tired of life.
Friday, at the Live Music Capital of the World's Waterloo Park, an audience that was otherwise attending for the likes of Bad Religion, the Hold Steady, MGMT and the Gories treated parodist and cultural pundit Weird Al Yankovic like the childhood hero that he is. Singing along to 'Smells Like Nirvana' (even though it's actually a little disconcerting to see Weird Al dressed as Kurt Cobain), the crowd also applauded his 1989 film 'UHF' and begged him for 'Yoda,' which arrived as part of a fully costumed 'Star Wars' encore that included 'American Pie' pastiche 'The Saga Begins.'
Kicking off the set with his signature 'Polka Medley,' now augmented with parodies of tracks by Lady Gaga ('Polka Face') as well as Lady Antebellum, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and a yodel-aided Ke$ha spoof, Yankovic put on an almost Springsteen-length show that clocked in at two hours and 15 minutes.
The performance featured the world's shortest drum solo (twice), but also more costume changes than Gaga and Liberace combined -- the song breaks padded out with videos both brilliant (the Funny or Die trailer for a Weird Al biopic), dated (fake interviews with Jessica Simpson and Keith Richards) and impressive (references to Weird Al on a zillion sitcoms and cartoons, including 'Futurama,' 'King of the Hill,' 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' 'Friends' and 'The Cleveland Show').
While the crowd ate up old favorites like 'Eat It,' 'I'm Fat,' 'Another One Rides the Bus,' and 'White and Nerdy,' Weird Al's newer material, including songs from his 2009 'Internet Leaks' EP and an upcoming album, went over well. He showcased a Doors homage called 'Craigslist,' a White Stripes-style tribute to Charles Nelson Reilly (and Chuck Norris) titled 'CNR' and an inspired pairing of his recessionary take on T.I.'s 'Whatever You Like' with 'Money for Nothing'/'The Beverly Hillbillies.'
Watch Weird Al Perform 'I'm Fat' at Fun Fun Fun Fest
Yankovic also played the unreleased track 'You're Pitiful' and, during the strip-down stunt mirroring James Blunt in his 2005 'You're Beautiful' video, wore a t-shirt that read "Atlantic Records Still Sucks" -- a reference to Blunt's record label, which wouldn't let Weird Al release his version of the song.
And for those still disappointed by the cancellation of the Devo tour -- they were to headline Fun Fun Fun fest on Sunday and were replaced by the Descendents -- Weird Al offered up a taste of devolution with his 25-year-old original 'Dare to be Stupid,' complete with Devo jumpsuits, hats and glasses.