SameDiff BNL

Barenaked Ladies prove irresistible

By JONATHAN VALANIA, The Inquirer (Philadelphia), October 30th 2000.

The Top 10 Things I Learned About Barenaked Ladies Saturday Night at the Spectrum:

  1. Contrary to the name, there are no ladies in the band and there is no nudity. Just Canadians. Bummer.

  2. This is what being white has come to.

  3. The BNL guys are very dorky and they are, like, fine with it. In fact, they make it work for them.

  4. If Kids in the Hall were a band, they would be BNL. In addition to being blessed with keen voices, dual singer-guitarists Ed Robertson and Steven Page are funny, quick-witted improvisers. They made up an entire song around the spontaneously invented word "duopenultimate".

  5. They are very accomplished players. Over the course of a two-hour set, each member took a solo, albeit in a way that pokes fun at the notion of solos. When Tyler Stewart took his turn, a stern voiceover announced "This is not a drum solo. Do not attempt to leave the auditorium."

  6. When the band sings "If I Had $1,000,000," the audience pelts it with macaroni, a remnant of the Torontonians' early, lean years.

  7. After they sing "One Week" — which, like "Brian Wilson," isn't nearly as annoying live as it is on radio — Robertson and Page do this hilariously goofy dance and at the end they kiss. The crowd goes ballistic.

  8. During a closing cover-song medley, they run through Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" and the Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out," and bust out respectable hip-hop moves. Not bad for five vanilla extracts from the Great White North.

  9. They wear matching maroon pants, a subliminal sales pitch for their new album, Maroon.

  10. Despite my best efforts, I've come to really, really like these guys. Not sure how I'm going to explain this to my jaded hipster buddies, so keep it under your hat.