Not only is he playing a completely different setlist every single night, he’s keeping out nearly all of his most famous parody songs in favor of his lesser-known, original compositions. If that wasn’t enough, the encore portion of each show, up to this point, has featured a different cover song. On Thursday night, he performed a faithful rendition of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” in Carmel, Indiana.
The covers are an incredible showcase for Yankovic’s band. For the past three decades, they’ve proven that they can pivot from hip-hop to grunge to New Wave with impressive ease. Now they’re showcasing that with little rehearsal, they can play nearly note-perfect renditions of whatever Al throws at them. In the case of “Rebel Yell,” Jim West nails the complex guitar part originated by Steve Stevens.
Earlier shows on the tour have seen the band play Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl,” Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird,” Tom Petty’s “Refugee” and Cheap Trick’s “Hello There” among many others. The tour runs continuously through June 10th, giving them a lot of time to tear through a lot more of the rock songbook. Hey Al, if you’re reading this, we vote for Devo’s “Girl U Want” next.