Afterword: Weird Al, Stewart Copeland

Weird Al in Greeley 2022 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE


Way back when I helped found The Scene newspaper, I not only wrote a column about upcoming arts events — “Recommended” — but also a review column, “Afterword”, featuring a roundup of regional events I had gone to — and there were a lot — with photos.

The pandemic shut down that voracious pace, but recently I have been stepping out more so for the next couple of columns in the New Scene Weekly, I would like to revive “Afterword” — and bring it into 2022.

Hot picking- Laramie River Band at Avo’s September 18 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Here we go with capsule reviews of area events:

Weird Al: The Weird Al Yankovic fans I saw at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley on September 9 were young and old, tall and short; basically all kinds of different people who share one thing — a sense of humor.

That’s what you have to have when experiencing one of Yankovic’s shows because the musical jokes fly free and fast. Yankovic, famous for his spot-on parodies of contemporary pop hits, is a master of spinning goofball lyrics with attitude.

The McDailey Trio added sweet harmony vocals to KenFest at Avogadro’s Number on September 18 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

To keep up with all of that when it is set to a frenetic, breakneck electric music, you have to be good. The entire band has to be right on to make it work and Yankovic’s group seemed to do it easily in Greeley.

Opener Emo Phillips, maybe not so much. The comedian’s affect — a super nerd with an inscrutable sense of humor — made awkwardness the joke. In that, he was successful — his set was certainly awkward.

The tone of Yankovic’s set was generally positive, though he did indulge in a Doors parody that went pretty dark. The best tune of the night: “Yoda”, had the whole audience on their feet, waving their cell phones and singing along heartily. 

TekeTeke played Japanese Surf Rock at Global Sounds on the Square on September 18 in Old Town (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

For more Weird Al, check out “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”, featuring Daniel Radcliffe as Yankovic, on the Roku Channel starting on November 4.

Stewart Copeland: OK, so Stewart Copeland’s “Police Deranged” show at Gardens on Spring Creek on September 17 featured a full set list of Police music, most with fresh musical approaches to very familiar material.

Copeland did the MC work and played his drum kit like he was filling up a stadium with sound. He had a tight little rock band backing him up and three singers to handle the vocals.

Stewart Copeland directs Fort Collins Symphony at Gardens on Spring Creek 2022 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

But, for me, the most valuable players on the stage that night were the members of the Fort Collins Symphony. Thanks to Copeland’s arrangements, there was a little spice thrown into the music that went a lot further than just changing the tempo or mashing up genres.

That night, whenever I heard a little something tugging at my ear to listen closer, it was coming from the Symphony risers. My favorite tune of the night was “Murder by Numbers”, featuring some rich orchestral parts.

When the show was revving up toward its finish with “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”, the whole stage was rocking. That’s right, the Fort Collins Symphony was rocking, laying down a bed of sound that made the rest of Copeland’s band look good.

I walked away wondering what else Copeland was capable of — besides Police music — when he has an orchestra at his disposal. I’m wondering what else the Fort Collins Symphony can do too.

Weird Al Yankovic rocked UCCC in Greeley (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Check out “Escape to the Dungeon”, a Halloween Pops Concert by the Fort Collins Symphony at the Lincoln Center on October 27.

More “Afterword” next week.

Check out “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.

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