SameDiff BNL

Ladies Fans Stripped

By RANDALL KING, Winnipeg Sun, February 27th, 2001.

Stranded trucks force gig to be rescheduled.

WINNIPEG — Touring in support of their album Maroon, Canadian band The Barenaked Ladies found themselves marooned in Winnipeg without their instruments yesterday.

But if they couldn't sing to their fans at the Winnipeg Arena last night, a pair of their fans sang to them during a noon autograph session.

The Monday evening concert was officially postponed late Sunday night after five trucks carrying the band's equipment were delayed in a snowstorm that blew in between North Bay and Winnipeg.

The band couldn't play on, but they did put in a consolation one-hour autograph session for about 400 fans at the HMV music store in Polo Park. There, they were serenaded by 21-year-old twin sisters from Carman, who took liberties with the Ladies' hit If I Had a Million Dollars.

"If I had a million dollars, I would buy you a guitar," sang Robin and Raven Wood, who had taken a day off from studies at Brandon University to see the show and meet the band. "If I had a million dollars, I would get you your equipment... it really wouldn't be that hard."

But yes, it really was that hard, according to the band's tour manager Craig Finley, who said that the band would easily have been able to make the engagement in between their Saturday evening concert in North Bay and their Monday engagement in Winnipeg under ordinary circumstances.

"A one-day-off space between North Bay and Winnipeg is pretty common tour routing in Canada," Finley said.

Highways Closed

"The trucks just made it to Hearst, Ont., and the Ontario Provincial Police had to shut the highways there, and they wouldn't let any vehicles move."

By the time the trucks were cleared to go, the band realized their equipment wouldn't arrive in Winnipeg until 7 p.m. Monday, too late to stage their elaborate show. Of course, they might have reverted to their acoustic roots and put on a no-frills show with scrounged instruments, Finley acknowledged.

"But it's a very big tour for us, it's a lot of production, a lot of video, and we didn't want to present anything less than what it should be," he said. "It's not really that acoustic anymore.

"We have five tractor trailers. The video screens alone are worth $2 million US," he said. "So we could have thrown something together but does Winnipeg deserve less than the rest of the country? The answer is no. We'd rather re-schedule and bring back the full show."

Finley said the Ladies' tourmate, Winnipeg-born singer Chantal Kreviazuk was "very disappointed" to miss an opportunity to do a show before a hometown crowd. When she heard of the postponement, Kreviazuk flew to her home in Toronto for a brief tour break.

Concert ticket-holders were advised their tickets would be honoured for a later show, or could be turned in for a refund. Finley estimated the make-up date would be announced within a week.

"We'll be out touring all summer in the states and we're trying to look at windows there when we can come up," he said. The band's frontman Steven Page told one fan the make-up concert would be held "hopefully in late spring or summer."

Bassist Jim Creeggan told The Sun the Ladies have a pretty good track record for keeping their appearances.

This was their first weather-related postponement, Creeggan said.

"We cancelled once in Prince Edward Island because Steve had strep throat, and I can't remember any other time we cancelled."