Seeing Weird Al In Concert As A 12-Year-Old Vs. As A Slightly Buzzed 27-Year-Old At A Festival
I am no longer ashamed to admit that my second ever concert was none other than Weird Al (sandwiched between my first, Peter Frampton, and my third, *NSYNC — I was a weird kid). So when it came to my attention that the man who taught me that "Jurassic Park is frightening in the dark," Weird Al himself, was playing Governors Ball, my former 12-year-old self demanded that I do for a second round, especially considering that out of his 82 dates on the 2015 tour, Governors Ball is the only time he'd be performing in New York. I set out to compare my 2015 experience to my 12-year-old one, and because I'm a serious reporter dedicated to capturing the true differences in age, I did so while partaking in the giant cans of Miller Lite that appeared to be the unofficial-official beverage of Governors Ball. Sorry, Dad.
My dad is the one who brought me to see Weird Al when I was a kid: He was playing a free show at the Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego and I was a giant nerd. So off we went to the free show, where we laughed at all Al's hilarious songs and wondered why there were so many other 12-year-old girls with homemade puff paint shirts that said "I love you Al!!!" in sparkly pink letters. There was some *NSYNC-level fangirling going on. And their dads were just as stoked.
Would it be the same in 2015, surrounded by a festival crowd bedecked with fringe and cutoffs? Well, not exactly.
1. There Was Nothing, Um, Green In The Air Back Then
And even if there was in that kid-riddled, dad-filled audience back in 2000, I'm fairly certain I would have thought I smelled a skunk or something. I had literally no idea what weed smelled like. A festival crowd however, is rolling in it.
2. You Get Way More Excited About Hearing One Of Your Favorite Weird Al Songs When You're Slightly Tipsy
It was "Bedrock Anthem" (a Flintstones-themed parody of a Red Hot Chili Peppers song). I would have prefered "Jurassic Park," but this worked. And sorry, to my friend who had to witness me squealing, "I love this song" like a typical buzzed girl.
3. There Is Now Such A Thing As "Classic Weird Al Smug"
When he played a classic that wasn't based on a Miley Cyrus song and all the young folks in the crowd were confused, you're damn right I felt a wee bit smug. Who knew you could be a hipster about parody polka music?
4. I Still Feel Like A Nerd
Especially when someone who looked about 18 or 19 walked by in a perfect outfit and said with a mound of disgust large enough to roll up the entire festival right then and there, "Who THE HELL is playing right now?"
5. "I'm Fat" Isn't Really Funny Anymore
When I was 12, I didn't grasp how it might be pretty offensive to don a fat suit and sing the song "I'm Fat" (a parody of "I'm Bad" in case you didn't catch that), but as a 27-year-old, buzzed or otherwise, I was pretty upset to see that Al still performs that song... in a fat suit.
6. Being "Up Close" So Doesn't Matter Anymore
As a kid, even with stadium style seating — which allows everyone to see no matter where they're sitting, unlike a festival's flat set-up — I was never close enough. I want to see more of what was happening, see the expressions on Al's face. I HAD TO GET MORE. As an adult, I was a ways back from the crowd, where I could still see Weird Al dancing around like the goofball he is. And I didn't have to elbow anyone or stand on my tip toes to do it.
Despite the "Eat It" problem, I'm still pretty into Weird Al. I'm just into him in a chill at the back and sip my beer like a grown-up sort of way.
Images: Giphy (6)