Barenaked Ladies Let Us In On the Joke

Bradley Center
Dec. 5, 2000

Barenaked Ladies

Story and Photos by Terry Mayer

No, it's wasn't a girlie show at the local strip club. It was The Canadian pop group, The Barenaked Ladies, which drew an almost sold out crowd at the Bradley Center last Tuesday night. Going to concerts today usually involves a mosh pit, body passing, and an injury or two, not with the Barenaked Ladies, though. You would have no trouble taking a very young kid too this concert. Despite their name, parents should have no fear because the music is all about having fun. The Barenaked Ladies might make fun of other people, but they really like to poke fun at themselves.
Midway through the concert the band noted that there was something wrong "in the rock and roll universe." How could there be two empty seats in the front row? To remedy this cosmic dilemma they chose two people sitting in the last row of the nose bleed section to come up and take possession of those open seats. Problem was, minutes later the owners of the choice seats showed up to claim them. This could have been a real mess if it wasn't for the valiant effort of lead singer Steve pleading with the security guards to let all four share the contested seats. Request granted, cosmic harmony achieved.
Barenaked Ladies The stage was anchored with a huge voodoo mask, in which the band came spitting out of the mask's mouth and onto the stage like pieces of chewed-up gum. The stage graced four big screens to magnify the band's antics. This also provided some of the best live video editing of any band in recent memory. From the stop action, 1/4 slo-mo blur action, to fast cut, it was as if they were creating their next MTV video. Steve mentioned how it would be tough to sing every song they have ever written so as a special treat for all the fans they would sing every song they ever did. Problem is they sang all the songs in an eight minute medley. The Ladies also performed songs from other popular artists such as Eminem, Baha Men, and Britney Spears.Their choices not lost on the audience.
As the evening's music and humor started to wind down one of the last songs they did was "If I Had A Million Dollars" a song where the audience didn't need much encouragement to sing along. At the key chorus "If I had a million dollars, I wouldn't have to eat Kraft dinners" in which the crowd tossed dry macaroni up into the air and at the band. This is one reason many feel a part of the whole experience.
There are so many complex layers to a Barenaked Ladies concert, just like an old Marx Brothers movie, you have to see it a couple of times before you get all the gags and inside jokes.

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