Barenaked Ladies Filled the Trop.


 

 

The first time I saw the Barenaked Ladies or BNL in concert, It was with my pre-teen daughter on a Father and Daughter excursion to Universal Studios in Orlando during their yearly Spring Mardi Gras celebration. One of the crowning moments of this event on Saturday night was a concert by a band that evokes fun and dancing from the assembled crowd. And I had done a bit of musical research before buying the tickets to the after hours concert put on that evening by the Barenaked Ladies.

 

What I remembered most about that 1 ½ hour musical adventure was the way the band used an up-beat tempo and a catchy set of guitar riffs to keep the crowd motivated and dancing throughout the concert. What I got that night was one of the greatest memories with my then pre-teen daughter, plus a bit of flirting with a girl dressed up in a flamingo costume. The woman flirting with me was great, but the smile on my daughter’s face was priceless that night, and that memory still warms me up today.


 

So when the Tampa Bay Rays announced that the BNL were going to be part of the 2010 Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series, I was immediately transformed back to that time, with hope of not only reliving that great evening in Orlando, but to expand on it and make it burst with a musical explosion. The band did not disappoint me that evening as they were just as exciting and as exuberant as the first moment I saw then stroll onto stage what seemed so long ago. Some people call BNL a Canadian alternative band, but they are of a musical fusion all their own.


 

Their music is tempered with bits of Jazz and Blues and mixed vigorously with plenty of different string instruments from electric guitars to the authentic bass to becoming the first band to use technology to promote themselves. Barenaked Ladies were the first band to use a floppy disc as a “Interactive Press Kit”.

 

In 2003, they initiated a band blog, with band member Ed Robertson also providing pod casts to the website to keep their fans informed on some of the bands antics and travels, including the band’s first trip on a cruise. But BNL were also at the forefront of the social network revolution having a Myspace, Facebook and Twitter account to keep the juices flowing with their fans with multiple updates and ideas thrown out there for the fans to interact with the band.

 

They were also one of the first recording artists to utilize the USB technology by offering their 2004 “Barenaked For the Holidays” album on a customized flash drive in the MP3 format. Even if they might be considered a technology savvy band, it is their stage presence that has mesmerized their faithful fans for so long.

It is not unusual for the band to have a set list in pencil with additions and deletions right up to the moment they hit the stage, also complete with impromptu rap songs and humorous banter between numbers.

 

This moment was perfectly captured on Saturday night when BNL lead singer ED Robinson let the crowd know that the Rays needed a win, and who did they call, but the Barenaked Ladies to the rescue. That classic moment had me laughing and really enjoying the whole Barenaked experience, the band, not the unclothed part.

It was great to hear “One Week” again, but I still have a feeling most people associate the song with Jim’s dance sequence on the web cam to Nadia in American Pie than remember the song just for its own merits. But the catchy riffs and wording catch you instantly bopping along and trying to keep up with the truly over the speed limit tempo and rhythm of the song. Partner that with their classic hit “If I Had a $1000000“, and you got the makings of a great evening on your hands. Most people below the Canadian border might not know about their numerous Juno Awards, but might remember their Grammy nominations during the 1990′s.

 

There were other hits I heard that night that had escaped my mind when reviewing them in April like “The Old Apartment” and “Pinch Me“, but the night was made for good natured fun and frolicking, and BNL achieved that and more. The set really did not seem that long, but it did flood my mind with a great collection of instant video flashbacks and memorable moments. Bass Guitarist Jim Creegan is still one of the best in the business, and the talents of Kevin Hearn from the piano to the keyboards to the guitar simply made the evening a success.


 

But it was the vocals of Robertson, who took over the lead singer gig after one of the founding members, Steven Page left the band that sealed the deal for me that night. Even with a active storm front about to hit the Tampa Bay region right as the concert ended, the band kept the crowd into the music and totally forgetting about some of the things going on around them. And that is what great music is suppose to be about. It is suppose to make you leave your everyday struggles and trails for a few moments and relax, stress-free and enjoy the times of your life.

 

 

 The last time I saw the band my daughter and I lost her mother a short time later to melanoma cancer,but every time I hear the band’s music since then, it has reminded me of that special day with my daughter. One I will never get back, but one that was based in Barenaked Ladies music.

There are more Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series photos on my new Flickr.com page under Rays Renegade. All photos are selected for the public, and feel free to download or even print them if you desire. I did this to give people an additional way to enjoy the Rays concert series this season.

 

 

10 Comments

What a special concert for you with all the memories the music brought back and because it sounded like so much fun. Lucky you!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane,
You know me by now…I could have fun in a library or a church and still not make a ruckus.
It did have a genuine gift of some good and bad memories, but my Daughter Tracey knows it was just fun with Dad.
It was a moment I will never forget.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I wish the Pirates could get the Rays concert promoters! Im sick of having to deal with rare sell-out crowds to see washed up acts. It’s also cool how close you were able to get to the bands. At PNC they just park the stage in shallow center kind of far from everyone. By the way I still have faith the Rays can pull through this swoon. Good luck, and beat those damn Sox and Yanks!

http://section316.mlblogs.com

Steve,
I actually get a lot closer than most people because I have photographer credentials issued for the concert series.
Been a Rays fan for a long time, and they know I have positive motives and do not intend or look for negative items to throw out to the masses.
I am not sure who was in control of the musical acts, but if I find out, I will definitely shake his hand a few dozen times.
Even though I only get two songs for my photos, it has been a wild time so far in 2010, and we are not even half way done with the game…or the concerts yet.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Cliff,
Funny that I was checking out concerts here in the LA area and ran into a Barenaked Ladies concert special.
Hey! You would love the Pepsi special I found! Check it in my blog. Well, you would take advantage of it If you were here.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

The concert was sweet. The jokes were great and the music was heaven. These guys are one of my favorite bands of all time and I had an amazing time hanging out under the orange roof and listening to some great music.

http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

Emma,
It is not crazy. I have that kind of power to make people read myblog anout concerts when they were looking for thing to do in their own locale…..I wish!
I will definitely check out the Pepsi promo on your blog.
I am more a Dr. Pepper fanatic,but I still drink Pepsi over that four letter drink that begins with a “C”.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Wow… nice. Again, the Rays and their concert series…being all hip and cool and stuff. I’ll tell ya what’s not hip and cool though: BJ Upton. Dude needs his bell rung, to come back down to earth. Maybe Evan will do that for us.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Raysfanboy,
It was another great gig put on by the Rays and their Sr. Director of promotions, Brian Killingsworth.
Seriously, I sometimes think no one give the Promotions arm of the Eays any credit besides the Carlos Pena Toothbrush holder.
It is a hugething to coordinate a event and concert. I did it for years with Pepsi, and I can relate tothe stress, sweat and even the joy of seeing it pulled off without a major hitch.
And we are only about half way through the 2010 version of cancerts.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Jeff,
I spoke to B J Upton at the Rays SEason Ticket party that night, and it was just steam being taken o0ff the pot to me.
Both players have frustrations and anxious moments until one finally broke the barrier and exploded.
It is over, but the media and fans are making it into an issue.
If Upton had hit that Walk-off shot into the stands, this would have been tossed aside, but since the Rays lost…it is news….plain and simple

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 274 other followers

%d bloggers like this: