Music

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s mini-residency played to a small but appreciative crowd

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Three and a half stars

“Weird Al” Yankovic May 14, Planet Hollywood Showroom

If “Weird Al” Yankovic’s five-night mini-residency at the Planet Hollywood Showroom is a test run for a possible longer-term Vegas gig, then the attendance at Thursday night’s show was not a particularly good sign. On the third night of his stay, Yankovic only filled a little more than half the place, leaving the balcony completely empty. For those who were in attendance, though, the veteran comedy musician put on a strong show, giving every ounce of his energy over the course of two hours, even to the empty seats. Since so much of Yankovic’s material is based in pop-culture parody, he went through more costume changes than Lady Gaga, making sure to have a corresponding outfit for each of his hit parodies. So he was in his Michael Jackson-styled fat suit for “Fat,” a blond Kurt Cobain wig and striped shirt for “Smells Like Nirvana,” a Jedi robe for Star Wars-themed encore “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda,” and so on.

Costume changes take time, though, so the show was filled with video interludes as Yankovic was backstage putting on his latest get-up, and sometimes the lulls got a little tiresome (although it’s amazing how many TV, movie and viral-video appearances Yankovic has at his disposal to fill out the show). Yankovic balanced that out a bit by mixing the production-heavy numbers with some low-key versions of his non-parody originals. He also packed 10 songs into a single rapid-fire medley at one point, and later parodied the rock-concert staple of the sit-down acoustic segment by offering another medley of incongruously mellow versions of “Eat It,” “I Lost on Jeopardy,” “I Love Rocky Road” and “Like a Surgeon.”

He also presented amusing twists on audience interaction, awkwardly accosting female fans during faux-salacious love song “Wanna B Ur Lovr” and asking “Are you ready to polka?” before “Now That’s What I Call Polka” (the audience was definitely ready). The show’s overall tone was goofy and exuberant, and Yankovic proved that he has both the stage presence and the musical chops to carry a Vegas production. Now all he needs is a bigger crowd.

Setlist:

“Tacky”

“Lame Claim to Fame”

“Now That’s What I Call Polka!”

“Perform This Way”

“Dare to Be Stupid”

“Fat”

“First World Problems”

“Foil”

“Smells Like Nirvana”

Medley: “Party in the CIA”/“It’s All About the Pentiums”/“Handy”/“Bedrock Anthem”/“Another One Rides the Bus”/“Ode to a Superhero”/“Gump”/“Inactive”/“eBay”/“Canadian Idiot”

“Wanna B Ur Lovr”

Acoustic medley: “Eat It”/“I Lost on Jeopardy”/“I Love Rocky Road”/“Like a Surgeon”

“White & Nerdy”

“Word Crimes”

“Amish Paradise”

Encore:

“The Saga Begins”

“Yoda”

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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