[Myself with Weird Al after the concert - the man was wonderful.]
Best troop ever: the 501st was invited to help out with Weird Al’s summer concert tour…of course, a little history is necessary to understand my elation…
I started listening to Weird Al back when my age was still a single-digit affair and I didn’t comprehend any of the humor in the songs. This, like my Star Wars obsession, can be blamed on my brother.
When I got into middle school, I heard, for the first time, the song “Lola”. I was outraged. “Someone ripped off Weird Al!” I declared to my family. “…no, Anna,” I was told, “it’s the other way around…” Confusion and frustration, but I stayed by Weird Al’s version “Yoda”, even though I, at that point, had no idea who Yoda was.
[I acquired a new T-shirt at the concert...it couldn't be more fitting.]
I remained a huge fan through my high school and college years, and to this day, his music still makes me hyper, and brings a smile to my face. So suddenly, after 20 years of fandom, I get to meet Weird Al? To perform on stage with the “King of Nerds”?
Going up on stage, my heart felt like it was getting sucked into a black hole. I’d seen The Man a few times in passing – said “hey” the first time, but otherwise contained my fangirlness, recognizing that he was working, likely busy and tired and in a hurry to get something or other done. But suddenly, he was walking towards me, up on stage, in front of me, singing.
[On stage with Weird Al - I'm TK-7888, the trooper on the far right, if you can't tell.]
The fans had seen us when we were half-way to the stage, and their screaming drowned out anything else in the concert hall. It felt good, but that was all gone, the lights and the sound, once I saw him. I haven’t seen the video yet, but I hope I didn’t mess up noticeably. Really, I felt good about getting up onto stage and in place without falling over.
After the performance, I retired to my civillian clothes and headed back into the concert hall (through the backstage door!) to watch the last couple songs of the night: Eat It and Albuquerque (which I was so hyper for that I was bouncing up and down, singing along with the whole time.) Then I snuck out, again through the magical backstage door, to wait for The Man.
[Al even agreed to sign a card for my brother and take a photo with it.]
He was surprisingly normal, we observed. Just like a guy that you’d hang out with. He was calm and casual and obliging to all of our random requests, such as taking a photo with a birthday card I’d drawn for my brother after eating dinner.
I somehow doubt that Weird Al will ever read this, but as we didn’t get too much time, I’ll say this here: Tthanks for letting me be a part of your show. You’ve inspired people to be creative and do what they love, and I’ve got nothing but respect for you (mixed in, perhaps, with a healthy dose of admiration, I suppose.) But thank you, for going out there, being the “nerd who made it”, and being a hero to us all.
[Empire City Garrison's group photo with Weird Al: Al was wearing another garrison's t-shirt, so they guys' plan to cover that up for the group shot was for me to hug Al. I didn't want to come off as the crazy chick, but at least I got a fun picture out of it.]