Well, the Atlantic City Diaries 2.0 has gotten off to a slow start to say the least. After churning out twenty-three pulse-pounding entries from 2012 to 2015, I’ve only been to the great city of Atlantic once in 2016. But, there was a reason for this: I have moved from New York City to Central New Jersey, cutting my Atlantic City commute in half! Alas, this means a good-bye to the Greyhound Lucky Streak bus, which I have had a love-hate relationship with for years. But, hopefully this will lead to more impromptu trips, as I try to re-embrace a city that I’ve been slowly drawing away from.
And what better way to start it with than a “Weird Al” Yankovic concert!
Once again, my friend OB hooked us up with complimentary tickets to the penultimate show on Weird Al’s sprawling Mandatory Fun tour. It was my second time seeing the Weird one (the first time being after my bachelor party), while OB was popping his Al cherry. Should you be in a rush, and not wanting to finish this post, you know already know how it ends: Weird Al is amazing.
But, the first thing that stood out to me upon arrival was the crowd. The last time I saw Weird Al was at Governor’s Ball, where he was just one of dozens of acts performing that day. The crowd was enthusiastic, but they weren’t “Weird Al” people. This, however, was pure, unfiltered “Weird Al” people, seemingly pulled straight from the Atlantic City Boardwalk Convention. Spanning from about 5-years-old to 65-years-old, you had people from all walks of life, assuming that “walk of life” was generally white and overweight. Costumes were prevalent, as were the Weird Al VIPs, carrying a swagbag of goodies that I regret not being drunk enough to try to steal for myself. It would be a bit intimidating for a “normie”, but having grown up among the comic nerds, I foundmyself strangely at home. Unfortunately, this didn’t translate into a raucous concert-going experience, as the crowd would applaud loudly during the beginning and end of each new song, but mostly sat quietly throughout the song, perhaps trying to take in the showmanship of Weird Al himself.
And boy, what a showman. Weird Al began his show with “Tacky”, maneuvering through the dank, 1984-esque hallways of Caesar’s, eventually popping out within inches of where OB and I were sitting (promptly OB to shriek with childish glee “I LOVE WEIRD AL!”). Throughout the next two hours, Mr. Yankovic played all the hits (“Fat”, “Amish Paradise”, “White & Nerdy”, “Word Crimes”, etc.), but I appreciated that he included some original songs, which were sadly absent at Governor’s Ball. For example: “Wanna B Ur Lovr”, a track from the not-so-notable Poodle Hat, had the best reaction from the audience, as Weird Al grinded upon several ladies, and was able to get a laugh with nearly every line in the song.
(This is me trying to take a picture of Al’s “Wanna B Ur Lovr” performance. I am crappy at taking photos during concerts. And, yes, I’ve ranted about people who take crappy photos at concerts.)
A personal highlight for me was seeing his re-interpretation of “Eat It” into the acoustic version of “Layla”. Weird Al’s parodies are like a lot of modern art: it may seem simple, but he thought of it and you didn’t.
At this point, “Weird Al” has become such a musical icon that, even if you are not a fan, it is worth seeing. He’s been around over three decades, and his popularity only seems to be growing. While the tour may be over now, make sure to add him to your bucket list to see the next time he rolls around to your city.
Gambling Side Note: While past Atlantic City Diaries would have intricate details about how I gambled that night, I’ve decided to cut back and focus more on Atlantic City’s events, as the gambling stories can be a bit monotonous after a while. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a few things for posterity’s sake. First, while the KISS slot machines may be gone, OB has found a new love: the Britney Spears slot machines. I should have stuck with them, too, as they paid me the best at night. On the table games front, Caesar’s has installed many $5 digital blackjack tables, which are completely awful. While it tries to emulate the sensation of playing with a real dealer, it falls into the uncanny valley, and you can’t quite get into a true blackjack flow. I will be staying away from them in the future. However, the Wild Wild West has wonderfully brought back $5 live blackjack! I have been fighting for that since the very first AC Diary! It’s a bit of a grind playing blackjack for $5 a hand, but I played all night long and found myself down only $20 or so dollars. Unfortunately, I found out the Wild Wild West has a closing time (somewhere between 4 and 5AM), and they were quite stingy on the free drinks (which may have been why I wasn’t losing so much). But still, it is a gargantuan step in the right direction, and I look forward to spending more time at the Wild Wild West.