Saturday, 26 September 2015

On stage with Weird Al

Last Thursday (September 24) I got do to something I have dreamt about as a Star Wars fan, but thought I would never be able to do, since I live in Sweden. I've heard about the 501st being invited to be on stage with Weird Al Yankovic, but I never thought he would come to the Nordic countries. When it was announced that he was going to perform at Gröna Lund, and the Nordic Garrison got invited, I of course volunteered to be part of the show. The preference was for Vader and stormtroopers, but as long as you had had a character with a mask you could sign up for it. My jawa got into the team, and so I took half of Thursday off to go to Stockholm.

At Gröna Lund I met up with the rest of the troopers, and we even had time go on a couple of rides. I loved their wooden rollercoaster, much more fun than their "big" one. We also got instructions from the stage manager on what we were supposed to do, I guess you could call it choreograpy. We did practice a few times, with and without masks/helmets on, but on the street behind the stage, not on the stage itself.

The Nordic Garrison was just going to be on stage for The Saga Begins, which was the first encore. So we had time to watch the beginning of the show. A lot of the show is showing clips of him and other funny things, and a lot of his performance is trying to mimic his classic music videos. We had to leave to get changed before any or my favorite songs came though (White and Nerdy, Amish paradise).

Then it was time to get dressed. I think this picture shows what quite a lot of trooping is about, cramming a bunch of people with oversized luggages and plastic stuff into a small room and wait. The jawa is a very easy costume for transport and getting changed into, so I only had a small soft bag with me.

Then it was time to go on stage. Only one problem, it had gotten dark. I realized that I couldn't see a thing in my mask, except for Thomas that was in front of me. Getting on the stage wouldn't be too hard, but I got really nervous about getting off, since I was supposed to walk off first and lead the way. Still getting out on stage in front of 6000 cheering people was so much fun. If you want to see me in videos of the performance you have to look carefully though. I'm standing to the far left, out of the main spotlights, in a dark costume, so the only thing you really see are my glowing eyes.

In the end it wasn't so hard to get off the stage either, I guess they are used to taking care of characters with limited vision. There was a guy standing there blinking to me with a small flashlight, and when I got close to him he grabbed my arm and led me down from the stage.

The show was being over, and then we waited, and waited and waited, but finally Weird Al showed up, thanked us for being there and signed some autographs.

Had I known that we were going to get autographs I would have brought my "Running with scissors" CD, the one with The Saga Begins on, that I have some fond memories buying in a record store in Ireland when I was there with the family on holiday and got exctatic about finding.

I'm happy that I got my stage pass signed at least though.

Then it was going back to Falun again. I'm very grateful to my aunt who had planned to go from Uppsala to Falun on Thursday, and she waited until evening, picked me up in Stockholm and then drove to Falun, so I was home and in bed around 3 am.


  1. I've seen Weird Al a couple times and my favorite part is The Saga Begins and the SW characters on stage with him. I am sooooo jealous!


  2. I've been jealous of all the US people doing with him, I never thought he was going to come to Sweden so I would get the chance as well.