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Welcome to my blog…and it’s a sad time to be a Weird Al fan.

Posted in concert review,music,parody,satire,Weird Al by catradhtem on the July 17th, 2011

Hello!

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one’s mine.

I’m not usually the hippest person when it comes to the latest web interfacy things. It took me a little while to get on the Twitter bandwagon and I’ve only started using Facebook with any sort of regularity. Heck, I have finally just gotten a phone with web capabilities! But you know, I felt it was finally time I got into the mid-00s and start a blog. A regular plain old blog. You know, with paragraphs and thoughts more than 100-some-odd characters long.

I’ll continue to use Twitter–and, by proxy, Faccibuke–regularly. Twitter is perfect for whatever’s going through my brain at a specific moment. But I wanted some more room to babble endlessly about things I’m doing and feeling. Yeah, yeah, I already have a web site, Dohtem.com, all to myself, but I never really intended that to be a place for me to just…you know…express myself.

This blog will hopefully be many things. Unlike the quick, here’s-something-off-the-top-of-my-head bon mots that I unleash onto Twitter, I’ll most likely use this blog for more drawn-out, carefully planned thoughts. You know, going on endlessly about specific subjects. Pure minutia, baby.

And also, I wanted a space for updates. I’m going to be starting a number of major (to me) projects later in the year, and I want a nice, formal place online to chat about the progress of such things. So yeah, this blog may be many things to many people, but it will be all things to me.

To start off, I thought I would dust off something I had written and posted on Facebook back in May. It’s rare for me to do something exclusively on Facebook. I like the site just fine, but I’ve yet to feel completely comfortable with it. You know how people use social networking to gain friends? I’ve actually lost a number of close, dear friends thanks (in part) to Facebook, so there you go. But I realize not everyone can “go” to Facebook because you need to register to it and all that crap, and I’m too proud of this writing to just let it linger there.

As most people who know me already…um, knows, I’m a huge fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic. I’ve been following his career for years, have started the international grassroots campaign Make the Rock Hall “Weird” to get him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and am proud to say that I’m on friendly terms with him, his drummer Bermuda, and many other fans from around the world.

But sadly, there’s been a…I don’t know…scarier(?) element in the fan circles brewing as of late. Weird Al fans are some of the most dedicated, rabid music fans around, and many of them will go cross-country (and cross-continent) in order to see him at multiple concerts. Hey, that’s fun. I’ve been a “concert tracker” before and will probably again be one in the future. But on the last couple of tours there has been one fan who has…well, stalked Al and the band at a concerning number of concerts, to the point where they consistently attempt to break into the performing venue before official business hours and attempt to present themselves as one of the peripheral crew. They have been ejected from venues on at least one occasion because they were attempting to crash the band’s private soundcheck…you know, bothering professionals at work.

Frustratingly, Al is just too nice of a guy to yell, “Good god, leave me alone!”, which sadly and apparently has given this person the impression of encouragement…to the point where they often post on the Weird Al forum bragging about their stalking exploits, even labeling their odd behavior “pre-concert,” as if it’s a natural part of the concert-going experience. A number of fans (myself included) consider such actions a gross invasion of privacy and especially consider it dangerous to post about in a public forum, because like it or not it does give others the impression that it’s acceptable to lurk about buildings, break in before business hours, and hound people at work.

In May Al started a quick U.S. tour, one done before the release of his latest album, Alpocalypse. To make a long story only slightly shorter, I posted on Facebook what was essentially a spoof of the “concert review” posts typical of this person, in which they usually spend more time and energy describing in detail the lengths they had gone to in order to harrass Al, the band, and even members of the crew before and/or after the show.

I don’t especially like being mean, and I don’t really like making fun of someone behind their back…I’ll gladly do it to their face, especially if it serves to call them on their bullshit. This person has for some reason felt persecuted online–maybe because of their public anti-homosexual comments and just their general douchebagginess–but I like to think it’s just been people finally annoyed with this, let’s say, “I’m so cool because nobody’s really stopped me from stalking people” attitude that this person has displayed. I felt it was time to proverbially call them out, and in the most approprate, Weird Allian way…through parody.

So here is that “concert review” in full….

I arrived at the venue exactly three-and-a-half hours before the crew’s truck arrived. I decided to skip breakfast because I needed the money to buy materials to make my welcome sign for the guys. Ramone, the East Coast weekday bus driver, said when I chatted with him at length before my last 2010 show what the crew likes to see when they get to the venue. He said, “signs.” Glad I could be on the team and do my part.

Instead of making the sign, I instead decided to scope out the building, specificially looking for all the exits so the guys couldn’t get away. Most people when they travel and visit new cities like to check out the area itself and find places and businesses that interest them, but I’m more concerned about knowing all the nooks and crannies of the venue and how often security does shift changes. You got to know where the guards are stationed. There are a lot of weirdos out there, you know.

The guys finally arrived at the venue in the early afternoon…pfft, late for a change, I see. I tried shouting at them through the security fence, but they didn’t seem to hear me and forgot to tell security to let me in. I’m sure it was just an oversight. I’ll see them at soundcheck.

The venue wasn’t open for business yet, but staff members were clearly using the front entrance in order to get to work, so I figured that was the best way inside. My ticket for the show said 8:00, but surely that didn’t apply to me. They must have been waiting for me because all the doors into the main hall were open and the ushers weren’t around yet. I found a seat in the back just as soundcheck had begun. It sounded as if they were doing the 45-minute S.C. as opposed to the typical 52-minute one, so I was sure they were going to cut a number tonight. I could tell by their mannerisms. They were different from soundcheck #162 from the Glenside show last year. I was eventually asked to leave soundcheck by the band, which surely was because they were acting on the best interests of the venue and didn’t want to get in any trouble with them. I told them it was cool and as far as I knew they were all pleasant to me to my face.

Pre-concert wasn’t done just yet, as I wanted to make sure I flirted with the merchandise booth girl before I was asked to leave the building for the second time. We have this routine together. I ask her these intrusive, annoying questions, and she pretends that she’s really trying to work and set up the table. I could almost see the tongue firmly planted in her cheek when she muttered, “Jesus Christ, another summer of this” under her breath. Ha ha, score one…I win.

I lost track of about two hours after that, but I’m sure I was the center of attention during that time. I arrived back at the venue for the show about twenty minutes late for me…I only had an hour before showtime at this point. I didn’t want to miss the start of the playing of the pre-show CD.

Ooo, I knew it! I could tell it was pre-show CD #4. It has perhaps the best selection of songs and fit nicely with the surroundings. I asked them on the last leg if they could use pre-show CD #4 (PSC4) more often, and I’m glad they’re finally listening to me. I go to enough shows and I deserve special treatment. They owe me.

Some employee of the venue eventually told me that I couldn’t sit on the edge of the stage while the crew was setting up. They were clearly looking out for my safety and I appreciate that. I tried to get the choice seat I wanted with my collectable VIP laminate, but I was kindly asked by the nice usher to go back to the seat on my ticket. I tried to explain that I was with the show and that I wanted to sit next to the cute girl that I saw, but the ushers were clearly distracted, trying to talk on their radios about something. It was cool, it was after all the first show of the tour. They’re still ironing things out.

So all in all, Pre-concert was an amazing experience. Time well spent.

It was a cathartic fake post to write, and I felt with Al’s new Alpocalypse Tour starting up this month, it was appropriate to post it somewhere where it can be a little more easily accessed.

That is all for now. Hope to see you back here. If not, then go to hell, I guess.