Photos: "Weird Al" Yankovic at the Orpheum Theater " /> 'Weird Al' Yankovic brings the laughs, polka to Omaha performance -
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Weird Al Yankovic played parodies such as "Eat It" and "White & Nerdy" as well as original songs including "Craigslist" and "You Make Me" at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha.(CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD)


'Weird Al' Yankovic brings the laughs, polka to Omaha performance
By Kevin Coffey / World-Herald staff writer

He was “Fat,” he was “White & Nerdy” and he was a “Canadian Idiot.”

On Thursday, “Weird Al” Yankovic brought lots of laughs — and costumes for each of his characters — while he sang parodies of “Bad” by Michael Jackson, “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire and “American Idiot” by Green Day, among quite a few others.

Thousands at the Orpheum Theater giggled at some lines and shouted others for more than two hours while Yankovic and his four-member band played songs from as far back in his catalog as 1983's “My Bologna.”

Yankovic's show was part concert and part variety show. Each member of the band wore various costumes (including a fat suit during “Fat” and a Segway during “White & Nerdy), dancers and extras joined Yankovic for a few songs and every couple of tunes was followed by a video clip.

Yankovic and his four-member band started with his polka medley, “Polka Face,” which included polka covers of pop songs.

“I haven't been in Nebraska for awhile,” Yankovic said after taking the stage. “It's great to be back here.”

Fans were happy to have him back and went wild for big numbers such as “Smells Like Nirvana,” where Yankovic wore a blond Kurt Cobain wig and even played guitar left-handed (again, like Cobain) while cheerleaders danced behind him.

Throughout the show, I was amazed at how physically Yankovic performed each song. In addition to donning lots of costumes (a few of which had to be heavy and/or uncomfortable), he jumped around and fell onstage during the grunge song “Smells Like Nirvana,” he swirled around like a drunken Jim Morrison during the Doors-inspired “Craigslist” and walked through the crowd and gyrated around a few female fans during “Wanna Be Ur Lovr.”

In addition to being an affable group of guys, Yankovic's band is extremely talented. Some of the songs, such as “TMZ” (a parody of Taylor Swift's “You Belong With Me”) and “Perform This Way” (a parody of Lady Gaga's “Born This Way”), sounded better than when I heard the original artists perform them.

Though the previously-mentioned video clips and costume changes took up a lot of time, the middle section of the show was a quick-hitting medley of songs with no pauses in between.

Part of the slew of tunes included some of Yankovic's best food songs such as “Eat It,” “Rye or the Kaiser,” “My Bologna,” “Spam” and “Lasagna.”

By the end of the show, I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt, partly because of the songs' inherent humor and partly because I remembered a lot of amusing moments from my life that involved a cassette tape of Yankovic's songs and my brothers, friends and I laughing along.

When Yankovic and his band took the stage for the encore dressed as Jedi knights (and followed by Boba Fett, Darth Vader and other “Star Wars” characters), I found myself cheering along with the rest of the audience as he closed out the show with his two “Star Wars” songs: “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda.”

I wasn't alone. The finale was the highlight for most in the audience, who stood and cheered and Yankovic took his final bows.

“Thank you, Omaha,' he said. “I love you all.”

Contact the writer: Kevin Coffey    |   402-444-1557    |  

Kevin covers music, whether it's pop, indie or punk, through artist interviews, reviews and trend stories. He also occasionally covers other entertainment, including video games and comic books.

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