Occasionally on Mondays I like to write about a concert I've attended in the past. The timing is perfect to talk about last week's Barenaked Ladies show, especially while it is still fresh in my mind. I have been thinking a lot about this post and it's going to sort of be a review of how I discovered and came to love this band so much.

BNL Are Me

E and I had a pair of awesome seats for the BNL B.L.A.M. Tour show last Wednesday at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk. When I initially purchased my tickets, I was a little disappointed that they were on "Steve's side" of the stage, as I generally prefer to be closer to "Ed's side." It ended up working out for the best though as I saw a lot of Steve's back as he turned to sing with Ed. You can check out my photos here.

Jim, Steve, and Ed

I didn't write down the set list, but do remember that they opened with "Wind It Up" from their latest release. I was very happy with the set list. I think it showcased a good variety of the old, the new, and the live show staples. It was a nice surprise to hear "Grade 9," which I wasn't expecting!

Peanuts Dance

While BNL showcased their brilliant musical abilities, they were also obviously having FUN. They seemed relaxed and smiled and laughed a lot. Naturally, there were some goofy antics, including a choreographed dance/fight routine to "Angry People." You can hear about the genesis of that, as well as the band's name, in an interview that Steve Page, Ed Robertson, and Kevin Hearn did on NPR's Weekend Edition this past Saturday. I actually woke up to them talking on my clock radio alarm!

BNL's Best Boy Band Impression

Nanette referred to me as the biggest BNL fan she knows. It's true, I'm a semi-longtime fan and really enjoy this group. I didn't have the fortune of going to their early shows, where you could buy The Yellow Tape, like Cory from Boing Boing did. However, I have seen them over 20 times in all kinds of venues from stadiums to bookstores. I have met the guys several times either backstage, just hanging out after a show, or at signings. I did not ever see Andy Creeggan perform with Barenaked Ladies, as he'd recently left and they were trying out this new guy Kevin Hearn in the first shows I saw. I guess it all worked out. ;-)

Tyler Stewart and Kevin Hearn

It was 11 years ago, to the day, I first saw Barenaked Ladies perform at what was then simply referred to as "Universal Amphitheatre," as part of a holiday benefit show for an awesome radio station that no longer exists. 101.9 KSCA, which is now a Spanish language station, broadcast the Adult Album Alternative format. It's thanks to them that I discovered BNL*, as well as Ben Folds Five** and other artists who did not receive airplay otherwise. Tears For Fears (the version without Kurt Smith) headlined the concert, which also included Ben Folds Five and Suzanne Vega. I had only listened a bit to BNL's second album Maybe You Should Drive prior to the show, but even after an abbreviated set, I was hooked.


The night following the event at Universal, Ben Folds Five, BNL, and The Rembrandts did a show at the Hard Rock Cafe (yes, the restaurant, not a concert venue) in Costa Mesa. Admission price was a new, unwrapped toy. Both Ben Folds Five and Barenaked Ladies got to do much more substantial sets than the previous night. We chatted with the three guys who were BFF after they played and got them to sign our cd. Not really being interested in The Rembrandts, we decided to leave after BNL. We were leaving the parking lot and noticed this van that the guys were getting into. I yelled "Ed!" and he came over to our car and signed our cd!


I hope Barenaked Ladies are around for a long time so I have many more opportunities to see such great entertainers!

*E thought I was a neglectful historian in that I didn't give him the credit he deserved, as it was actually he who first heard Barenaked Ladies (along with another favorite Moxy Fruvous) on the now defunct syndicated show Todd Rundgren's The Difference, which KSCA aired on Sunday nights. He picked up Moxy's Bargainville and BNL's Maybe You Should Drive (pictured above). I listened to both and thought they were "okay," but months later pulled out the albums and really get into both bands.

**Oh, and for the record, E also heard Ben Folds Five first too.


SJ said...

I like the look of this band. They look like normal dudes. I would fit in well with this lot haha

Jodi said...

Yes S.J.--they are normal, smart, dorky guys. They just happen to be talented musicians too. : )

Brenda Griffith said...

*sigh* Nostalgia wafts around me as I read your post. It was also 11 years ago when I first heard the BNL. They did a little Tower records thing which was broadcast live on WXRT in Chicago and I heard Alternative Girlfriend. I mentioned to Dave that I really liked them and he surprised me with tickets to a show in one of the downtown Chicago clubs. We stood in line with the snow falling around us and snogged. *sigh* Might need to dust off that cd, get some fake snow and practice the old snogging skills again tonight. Hey! I know! I'll put on Barenaked Christmas (hur, hur, hur).

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