Tag Archives: OC Fair

Deep Fried WHAT???? A Night at the Fair with Al’s Brain, Melissa Etheridge and a Ferris Wheel

We went to the Orange County Fair on Saturday afternoon. Most years we end up going to at least one of the Pacific Amphitheater’s summer concert series, which includes fair admission, so we just combine it into one trip. This year it was Melissa Etheridge, and we also had another goal: Al’s Brain.

We started by grabbing some water and (in my case) a chocolate milkshake (because I wanted some ice cream, dangit! and drinkable made it easier), then wandered through the arts and crafts displays, where they showed prize-winning jewelry, crochet, display models, dresses, origami, etc.

Al’s Brain

Then we made our way to the back of the fair, where they had set up a portable theater for Al’s Brain (in 3-D!). There was a huge sand sculpture out front of “Weird Al” Yankovic holding out a brain in his hand. An animated question mark and exclamation point would occasionally pop out the top of his head, and smoke would pour from his ears.

“Weird Al” has actually had a long association with the Orange County Fair, often doing free concerts on multiple nights during the run. We’ve seen him there at least twice, possibly three times. One year there was a “Weird Al” museum of sorts. This year, he got involved in a short 3-D educational film (comedic, of course) about the brain.

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The Weird…

Weird Al Yankovic: Straight Outta Lynwood album coverLast night we went out to the Orange County Fair to see “Weird Al” Yankovic in concert (the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour). I don’t remember how we managed it, but we got tickets for the fifth row, putting us about 10 feet from the stage. We were off to the side, maybe 20–30 feet from Al’s microphone, but still, it was the closest we’d ever been at a stadium concert.

(Being off to the side put us right by the speakers, which was an odd experience, as the drum beats resonated at the frequency of the human ribcage. On percussion-heavy songs, it was sort of like having an audio pacemaker.)

As always, he put on a fun show. If you haven’t seen him in concert before, all the major songs are done in full costume, with comedic video clips (mostly from his mid-1990s TV show) running between sets to allow time for costume changes. In the middle of the show, he always does a medley of other songs, just to get as much in as possible into a 2-hour concert.

As for being near the front, thankfully he didn’t come to our section for the audience-walk during “Wanna B Ur Lovr,” (a truly annoying song). We did get covered with red and white streamers at the end of “Canadian Idiot,” and (speaking of Monopoly money) fake $100 during “I’ll Sue Ya.”

$100 bill, Weird Al style.

One surprise: A couple of minutes into “White and Nerdy,” he suddenly stopped, said, “There’s no reason to do this song. Radio, Radio”—and the band proceeded to do a straight cover of Elvis Costello’s “Radio, Radio.” During the encore, he explained they’d had some technical difficulties, and did the song from the beginning (though without the costumes and the Segway).

Another surprise: He performed “Albuquerque.” All 10 minutes of it. *shudder*

After the concert we explored the fair a bit, then left to go to Borders to pick up Harry Potter, leading to the second part of this story…

For now, I’ll leave you with this final thought: We all have cell phones, so come on, let’s get real.

To hell with the concert plans

The Orange County Fair usually has some pretty good concerts lined up. Last year, they were all free with admission, but this year, they opened up a separate venue and kicked up the price. Tonight it was Joan Osborne and Melissa Etheridge, which was a very cool concert. The volume got turned up too high too fast, but each of them put on a good show. I have to say, Melissa Etheridge has the most expressive face I’ve seen on a vocal performer in a while. They had two huge HDTV screens showing whatever the cameraguy of the moment was focusing on, and when it was on her, she could get a round of screaming out of the audience with just one note and an eyebrow. This concert made me sorry I didn’t pick up any more of her CDs during the big Wherehouse closeout a few months ago. Ah well, there are sales ahead….

The title of the post, by the way, is a misheard lyric from “I Wanna Come Over;” the real line is “To hell with the consequence.” We ran into another opportunity for humor during “Bring Me Some Water” when Kelson pointed out that not only did she already have a bottle of water, but someone had put it in a little holder on the mic stand–which was visible on the video screen. Of course, my brain started writing alternate lyrics. (Apologies to all necessary parties, including those of you who don’t know the song.)


Somebody brought you some water
Can’t you see it’s there on your stand
You took it off the stage, right there at the front corner
A minute ago, with your hot little hand

Somebody brought you some water
Think I saw you sippin’ before
The music’s got my mind, and the music’s got my soul
But tonight I think logic, I think logic’s out that door


Side note: They have some damn yummy fruit at the Terri’s Berries booth right by the theater. Must remember this for the Alanis Morissette concert in two weeks.