Post by:
2 Dec 2013 | 2 Comments

i should preface this review by saying, if you’re looking for an unbiased review, this isn’t it… I’ve been a huge fan of Barenaked Ladies for over 20 years, so, they really would have to severely screwed something up for me not to have liked this gig. Having said that, this is the first time i’d seen them as a 4 piece band (after the departure of co-lead singer Steven Page), so there was a little bit of trepidation… not that I need to be worried…

It’s been a few years since i’ve seen Canadian alt/rock band Barenaked Ladies perform, so when I saw they were touring to promote their latest album Grinning Streak this side of the pond, I jumped at the chance to see them live once more. However, this time around they were also offering VIP packages, giving you a number of exclusive goodies, plus the option to meet & greet the band, have a chat, photos taken, and things signed, all for a fairly reasonable price… VIP option it is then!

The Meet & Greet / Sound Check

Meet & Greet

Meet & Greet

I turned up at The Institute in Birmingham, just before 4pm, and joined a number of other fans. Some already queueing for the 7pm show, but most (about 30 of us) there for the VIP package. Once the doors opened, we were let inside and taken upstairs to main venue hall. If you get a chance to see someone at The Institute, then go. It’s a beautiful and imitate venue, and a superb place to see an gig.

We hung around the room for 5 mins or so, when one by one the band emerged and started mingling and chatting with the gathered crowd. After a few photos were taken, they went back to chatting with people and signing whatever they’d brought along. I’d taken my original copy of Gordon (their first album) to be signed. I handed it to keyboard player Kevin Hearn, commenting that I felt a bit guilty handing it to him to sign (he wasn’t actually in the band at the time), to which he replied “Oh don’t worry, everyone says that when they had me this!” and smiled. People had bought all sorts of things to sign. Posters, CDs (or in one ladies case, a stack of 8!), and one guy even brought his ukulele, which of course, Jim proceeded to play…

After the signing and chatting was done, the guys got up on stage and worked through a few tunes for their sound check. Overall they played for around 40 mins, which included getting one very happy fan up on stage to play keyboards whilst Kev switched to guitar, and a rendition of These Apples for another fan who had requested it, but as it wasn’t on the set list for the evening, they obliged them with by performing it in the sound check!

All in all, totally worth the price of the ticket, and if you are a fan, and ever get a chance to by a VIP pass to one of their gigs, I suggest you do it. Thoroughly nice guys, and a great experience. Once the guys where done, we were kicked out of the venue for an hour or so before the actual gig started – thankfully the VIP wristbands also give you priority access back in, meaning no need to queue to get to the front. :)

The Gig

Boothby-Graffoe

Boothby Graffoe

Doors opened about 7pm, and we went in and settled on a place right up front by the barrier. After about an hour of people arriving, the room was full, and the support act Boothby Graffoe arrived on stage and started playing a few tunes, mixed in with a lot of jokes, messing around and being highly entertaining. Then the looming figure of Jim Creeggan bounded onto the stage behind him (to massive cheers from the crowd), and joined him on bass for a couple more tracks, intermixed with some audience participation… Only then to be joined by Ed Robertson, and Kevin (Kevin is also on Boothby’s Album NOMAD), who joined in with Kev on guitar and Ed on side drum (I’m assuming Tyler was backstage with his feet up at this point. ;) ). The whole thing turned into Boothby Graffoe with backing from BnL! After about 40 mins of excellent music and joking around, they finish the set, and there’s another 30 min wait before the main event…

The lights dim, and the boys bounce out onto the stage, launching into an excellent rendition of Limits from the new album, followed by Never Is Enough, and Pinch Me – which of course resulted bras, pants and other clothing items being thrown on stage (see video at the top of the post) ;). What I love about BnL gigs is, even though they are plugging a new album, they have such a large back-catalog of songs to pick from now, they tend to keep a good mix of old and new. After a bit of chat from Ed, plus an awesome spontaneous rap about Birmingham and the slightly odd leveling of the balconies in The Institute…

(Ed did go on to say that really should be a real song, and i totally agree :D ) They next go into Who Needs Sleep, and Gonna Walk, and then Kev’s lead vocal on the very sweet All In Good Time. One of the things that’s very apparent from this performance is they’ve really found their feet again after Steve’s departure. A lot of the songs they did were predominately Ed led vocals, but when they reached Be My Yoko Ono, Boothby popped back on stage and performed a brilliant and hilarious version of the song (video below).

Moving towards the middle of the gig, the four guys move together around 1 mic for their acoustic set consisting of Smile from the new album, I Can Sing, from the brilliant kids album Snacktime, Maybe Katie, and one of my favorite classic BnL tracks, Blame It On Me.

Breaking back into their usual positions, they continue on with the classics as they launch into Brian Wilson (video above), followed by Did I Say That Out Loud? from Grinning Streak, which is about as BnL sounding as a track can get. This portion of the show also included the theme to the awesome Big Bang Theory, before rounding up with One Week (their biggest UK hit to date), and of course the legendary If I Had A Million Dollars, which resulted in Kev wearing a green dress, whilst he and Ed played baseball with cuddly toys (video below)…

After the guys said their thank you’s and good nights, there was time for one awesome final encore, in which Ed and Ty switched places, with Ed on drums and Ty belting out a very awesomely energetic version of Alcohol. The more i see of Ty, I can’t help but think he’s modeled his entire persona on Animal from the Muppets… ;) At with that, it was over… If there’s one think to say about seeing BnL live, you can’t complain about not getting your money’s worth. A 2 and half hour gig, plus appearing with the support, you have yourself over 3hrs of Barenaked Ladies goodness, and that’s not including the extra VIP stuff.  A truly brilliant live band, still on top form after 25 years together. If they come to a town near you, go and see them, you won’t be disappointing!

I just wanted to say a thank you to some of the other BnL fans who have uploaded some of the videos used here to YouTube, as the battery died in my phone halfway through the gig! 

EDIT: Just added a playlist to YouTube including these and other videos! Click here to check it out. :)

 

Post by:
24 Mar 2009 | Leave a Comment

Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies - Ed, Kevin, Tyler and Jim

For those who don’t know Barenaked Ladies, they are a Canadian band who i’ve been a massive fan since about 1992 (read more about them here). They recently had an amicable split from Steven Page, one of their 2 frontmen.

They’ve decided to carry on as a band, and to show they can still rock it as 4 piece, they’ve released their first concert since the break as a free download until the 27th March 2009.

If your a fan, then it’s good, if a little weird, hearing all the songs you know sung by BNL, but a slightly different BNL. If you’ve never heard of BNL, download it and give them a try!

Click here to grab you copy while you can!

Post by:
13 Jan 2009 | Leave a Comment

As i’ve mentioned before on the site, i’m quite a big BNL fan, and this brilliant parody of the old BNL song ‘One Week’ popped on CollegeHumor this week. Genius :D (Warning, some of the language nsfw). ;)

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.
Post by:
20 Feb 2007 | One Comment


For their latest video, Barenaked Ladies decided to let the stars of Youtube do the hard work! Various of the more popular Youtubers come together to perform Barenaked Ladies’ “Sound of Your Voice” from the fantastic album “Barenaked Ladies Are Me” (not that i’m bias… huge HUGE BNL fan!). :D ;)

The Performers include:
Where The Hell Is Matt?
Barats & Bereta
Geriatric 1927
Eepybird
New Numa
Album Cover Battle
Brookers
Boh3m3
The Winekone
Winston Spear
Evolution Of Dance

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