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Concert Review: Barenaked Ladies

By Satwiksai Seshasai

T he Barenaked Ladies are one of North America's hottest bands this year, made unmistakably clear after their concert at the Fleet Center on Monday,which sold out in just 24 minutes. Over 15,000 devoted fans were on their feet all night as BNL filled the arena with their brilliant style of folk-pop music.

Their stage show was an incredible combination of songs from their albums and spontaneous creations for the city of Boston. Lead singers Steven Page and Ed Robertson displayed their hyperactive humor with songs satirizing Boston Market Chicken, the Boston Garden, and City Hall Plaza.

The band mostly played songs from their most recent album, Stunt. After singing the band's most popular song, "One Week," Page demanded that the audience attempt to recite the fast-paced lyrics. The packed Fleet Center crowd responded with a sing-along where almost every word of the song could be distinguished.

Other songs, such as the satirical tune "Alcohol" and the folkier "Never Is Enough," demonstrated their impressive array of talents, which consistently attracts fans from all generations to their concerts. One song even featured Robertson rubbing and waving his ass to the cheering crowd.

The show was also complimented by silly attempts at joke telling by the band, such as Page's proclamation that everyone in the audience should "just start necking." Ed Robertson then demanded to know how people had gotten into the sold-out show, asking all scalped ticket holders to cheer, and inquiring, "Who here inherited tickets from deceased grandparents who were big fans but died before the show?"

Other hilarious antics, which have become a tradition on the Stunt tour, included forcing a security guard named "Bill" to play the guitar on stage, and lowering a cowboy-hatted tambourine player named "Tiny" from the rafters.

The band then thanked Andrew Govatsos, their grey-haired Boston rep from Reprise Records (the man responsible for "One Week" being played endlessly on our radio stations), by featuring him in an improvised song.

In a fitting end to their amazingly unique show, the band played a satirical medley of songs from Will Smith, Brandy and Monica, Puff Daddy, and the Verve. The most amusing point of the finale came when the entire band put down their instruments to join in a rendition of Celine Dion's theme song from Titanic.

Refusing to allow the band to leave the stage, the audience was treated to an encore performance which included songs "Brian Wilson" and "Life in a Nutshell," from their earlier Rock Spectacle album.

Morcheeba, a British quintet, opened the performance with a 40 minute mixture of funk, reggae and soul from their album Big Calm. Leaving the stage, sexy lead singer Skye Edwards proclaimed "We'll be back," hopefully implying that this wonderful band will soon be conducting it's own tour.

Anyone who missed the concert should make every effort to go see Barenaked Ladies this Sunday afternoon at MixFest, a free concert near Quincy Market. After mastering the arts of song writing and humor, Barenaked Ladies appear to have also perfected the ability to put on an amazing concert.