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Barenaked Ladies Concert Review: Always Making You Smile

Barenaked Ladies Concert Review: Always Making You Smile

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Thanks to Fanbolt (thanks Emma!) I was able to attend the Barenaked Ladies concert on May 15, 2010 in Louisville, KY. Great Time may seem like a phrase that is vague and maybe overused, but that’s exactly what you’ll have when you see a Barenaked Ladies concert. And it doesn’t matter how many members are in the band considering this tour is in support of the first album Barenaked Ladies has release since lead singer Steve Page left in early 2009.

The band started off with “Testing 1-2-3” and played for nearly two hours, all along playing great to the audience as well as each other. A Barenaked Ladies concert is the musical equivalent of a summer movie; it allows you to escape for couple of hours. And like most summer blockbusters it is just 2 hours of fun without a bunch of preaching or lesson to be learned (although, some of their songs to have an underlying message).

Their mix of humor and earnestness could win over any crowd and they played some of their biggest hits: “One Week,” “Pinch Me,” and “If I Had a $1,000,000”; although it was somewhat expected. They also played some songs that had previously been missing from their set list. “These Apples” off their second album “Maybe You Should Drive” showed up much to the delight of bassist Jim Creegan, who had previously complained about how they never did that one. The acoustic portion of the show is nothing new, but a handful of songs in the middle of the show provided some of the night’s best moments.

Creegan sang “Pollywog in a Bog” off their 2008 kid’s CD “Snacktime!” (with drummer Tyler Stewart on bongos.) That was followed by a nicely done reworking of “Sound of Your Voice” which had previously been sung by Steve Page. In fact, throughout the entire show there were a ton of Steve Page songs including “The Old Apartment”, “Too Little Too Late”, “It’s All Been Done”, and “Alcohol”, which was played during the encore with Stewart on lead vocals and Robertson sitting in on drums.

The pacing of the concert was extremely well done, which isn’t always an easy thing to do. For example, they went from the upbeat “4 Seconds” off the new “All In Good Time” CD right to the acoustic banjo-tinged “Adrift” off “Barenaked Ladies Are Me”. Throughout, they seemed to really be enjoying themselves as much as the crowd, which consisted of a huge age span from children to Seniors. Page’s departure also gives Creegan and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn more of a chance to shine. Hearn, who Robertson said “put the “ill’ in Louisville” took over some of Page’s vocal duties in a shared effort to split the old songs among the group.

Opening act Ingrid Michaelson was delightful. Taking the stage, she showed off her good humor by saying, “Thank you for coming to see the Barenaked Ladies close for me.” She then went into “Soldier”, a favorite among her fans. She then told of a story of her blue sweater stolen by a drunken woman at Headliners the last time she played Louisville. She performed a seven-song set with a really interesting version of R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming”. “The Way I Am”, which was made popular in an commercials seemed to get the biggest response, but her best song was probably “The Chain”, when she and her band-mates did an excellent job of harmonizing. Her harmonies, sense of humor, and accessible personality is the perfect match for the Barenaked Ladies this was her last stop with them so in future concerts she will not be there.

Basically, Barenaked Ladies are a fun band that brought fun opening act along as well. They can certainly make you think, but they can nearly always make you smile. And there were quite a few smiles seen leaving the Palace after their concert.

Here is the set list from the concert:

Testing 1, 2, 3
The Old Apartment
Falling for the First Time
Ad Lib
These Apples
Every Subway Car
Another Heartbreak
When I Fall
Pollywog in a Bog
Sound of Your Voice
Ordinary
Big Bang Theory Theme
Four Seconds
Adrift
You Run Away
On The Lookout
Too Little Too Late
One Week
It’s All Been Done
Pinch Me
If I Had $1,000,000
Oh, It’s Magic (Rap Dance)

Encore:
Alcohol
Let There Be Light
What A Good Boy

Review and photo by JMCharries

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