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Queens Chronicle

Parody king coming to Forest Hills Stadium

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:30 am

Homer Simpson once said, “He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life.”

Fans haven’t grown tired of him. Yankovic is one of four artists with a Top 40 single in four different decades. Michael Jackson, Madonna and U2 are the others.

“What’s nice is it’s slowly accruing,” Yankovic told the Chronicle about his fan base. “My tours have gotten bigger as time has gone on and I think that’s because I’ve managed to hold on to a lot of the fans that I had when I was starting out in the ’80s. And now they’re bringing their kids and in some cases their grandkids. But it’s nice because every generation discovers me in a way and finds my back catalogue and it’s nice that people have been kind of hanging in there with me.”

Yankovic is coming to Forest Hills as part of his “Strings Attached” tour.” This comes on the heels of his “Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity” tour.”

“That was literally just me and my band walking out on stage and playing the songs. Because we’ve been doing these big multimedia extravaganzas for decades,” he said. “And those are fun and the fans love them and we love doing them but we thought let’s mix it up a little bit and give them something different. So we did this no-frills version of the tour which was fun in its own way because it was very intimate, but I figured if we’re going to do that, we have to go the whole other direction and do a 180. And this tour’s the most elaborate ever so this time we’re back to playing the hits. We’re doing all the costume changes. We’ve got the props, we’ve got this big LED video wall and on top of that we’ve got female background singers and a 41-piece symphony orchestra.”

Yankovic, who will be playing with the Queens Symphony Orchestra, added, “I can’t imagine I’ll ever do a show more elaborate than this one.”

He scored hits in the ’80s with “Eat It,” and “Fat,” and remained popular with “Smells Like Nirvana” and “Amish Paradise.” Yankovic reached the Top 10 2006 when “White and Nerdy” hit No. 9 on the charts.

Yankovic said writing parodies is different now than when he rose to fame.

“It’s become more of a challenge because I can’t go for the low-hanging fruit anymore,” he said. “I can’t go for the most obvious idea because 10,000 other people will have already done that on YouTube. So it just makes me step up my game which is a good thing. It’s healthy. It makes me think outside the box a little bit and try to come up with ideas that aren’t quite so obvious.”

Yankovic said he prefers to take his time when writing though he is able to work quickly. He wrote “Another One Rides the Bus,” in 20 minutes.

“I tend not to write quickly because I like to obsess over every little detail, every little punctuation mark,” Yankovic said.

He admitted that he realized early on that he was more successful at poking fun at other people’s work than writing his own material from scratch. “I learned my brain just isn’t wired that way,” he said. “It’s hard for me to write very sincere, deep, thoughtful lyrics. I’m just too much of a wise guy.”

That’s not to say, however, that he can’t give a good, straightforward performance. Several years ago, he covered George Harrison’s “What is Life” at GeorgeFest which surprised audiences. “People think everything I do needs to be comedic and that’s not necessarily the case,” Yankovic said.

On his previous tour he covered a song each night as an encore. Among the 77 performances included straight covers from The Carpenters to The Sex Pistols.

Yankovic said it was “fun to just rock out and not make it inherently funny.”

Weird Al Yankovic
When: Sat., July 20, 7 p.m.
Where: Forest Hills Stadium, 1 Tennis Pl.
Entry: $40-125; (888) 929-7849

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