This year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest marked the first time in its five-year history the misfit, Red River style music festival opened on a Friday night. Put on by Austin based promoters Transmission Entertainment, Fun Fun is known for being the anti-lawn chair, no-jam-band-allowed music festival for underground and non-mainstream music lovers. In other words, the cool kids for which the music is the focus and not their background noise. The other thing Fun Fun is famous for is hopping in their DeLorean and punching it to 88 mph to bring back the headliner from the days when music was still bought at actual record stores. This year, the Friday headliner the DeLorean picked up was none other than the legendary Weird Al Yankovic.
At 51 years old, Yankovic is still the showman and comedian he was 20 years ago at the early boom of his popularity. Known for his parodies of popular Top 40 hits of the time, Yankovic has a full catalog which he performed most of Friday night at Waterloo Park in front of thousands. He even paused for a second to ask for the lights to come on so he could take a picture of his own from the stage.
Yankovic proved right out of the gate that he is up with the times as his hilarious introduction began with today’s biggest pop star, Lady Gaga’s hit “Poker Face.” That same accordion-driven introduction also included “Womanizer” by Britney Spears, “Day and Night” by Kid Kudi and even Justin Bieber’s mega hit, “Baby.” Even the Bieb’ sounded better with accordion. Just when we all thought the intro was done, in traditional Weird Al style, he carried on with more of his renditions of modern popular hits like Katy Perry’s “Kissed a Girl,” “So What” by Pink and a yodeled version of Kesha’s “Tik Tok” before finishing it out with “Poker Face” again.
After the intro, the eager fans waiting to hear his greatest hits politely waited for Yankovic to finish the lackluster “Frank’s 2000” and the droning ballad that was “You Don’t Love Me Anymore.” Luckily for attendees, the humorous lyrics kept it interesting. It was after the song concluded that Yankovic smashed his acoustic guitar and started projecting his famous AL TV interviews in between song changeovers, which were actually costume changes.
With each costume change, a new hit was performed. From scooting in for the Eminem parody, “Couch Potato” to bringing out some tattooed cheerleaders to go with his black and green Kurt Cobain t-shirt he wore for “Smells Like Niravana.” The best costume was hands down the fat suit he wore for the “Eat It” video.
The set was not without its share of awkward moments, even for Weird Al fans. When Yankovic broke out into “Wanna B Ur Lovr,” looks of unfamiliarity and confusion set in. It could have been the God awful red suit or the cheesy lyrics, but it would have been better left off the set to make room for the classics he didn’t perform.
After closing the set with “Amish Paradise” and his own version of The Door’s Jim Morrison outfit, Yankovic used The Force as we say on Tatooine. His encore included Star Wars Storm Troopers and dancing Darth Vaders for “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda” with Darth Sidious on keys. The legions of nerd fans loved it and sang along to the choruses. It is as if Yankovic used his Jedi mind tricks to get them to sing along in such a large number. Instead of his light saber, Yankovic used his blinged-out accordion. What a way to open Fun Fun Fun Fest. Who is more fun than Weird Al anyyway? No one.