Barenaked Ladies Ask Victoria About Uncle Jimmy’s Salty Hangin’ Balls

windsorcomiconstingray-1

Barenaked LadiesLike almost everyone, I listen to the radio while I work, and one band always seems to find a way on the air of my favourite station. Barenaked Ladies (BNL) are a staple to the daily Canadian line up, enticing listeners to ask themselves what life might be like if we each had $1,000,000 to spend. Some might buy K-cars, or fake fur coats, but others would probably buy a few BNL concert tickets.

Besides the music, I am not familiar with the band’s history or recent exploits, and even more in the dark about what is being called the "post Page BNL". After a quick search on the wondrous web, the date February 24, 2009 clears up some of my ignorance. On this day BNL became a four piece band after mutually agreeing with former vocalist Steven Page to go their separate ways. They are now touring for the first time as a quartet with their new studio release "All In Good Time". With all this in mind I am unsure if BNL would live up to my radio tuned expectations.

There’s a rustling back stage as the curtain lights up blue with silhouettes of keyboard player Kevin Hearn and bassist Jim Creeggan mulling about as the shadow of lead vocalist and guitarist Ed Robertson gains height. This causes the crowd to shift in their seats while claps and cheers echo throughout the arena.

With a ra-ta-tat-tat from Tyler Stewart on drums, the show lunges forward as the curtain raises to expose the four men jolting their instruments to life. After the initial start up and the furious snapping of photos, I exit the stage area to find my seat amongst the crowd made up of all ages, families and couples alike. Settling in, I come to the realization that only about half of the arena is being used – making this a very intimate show. This allows all in attendance to really see and listen to the music being performed on stage.

Right out of the gate the famous comedic antics breakout. Styling in between songs, BNL light hearted engage the audience with hilarious banter, keeping us laughing and listening. Kevin and Ed’s adventures in Victoria prompted a new song, written just for us, about one of our local restaurants. Jiving away with this joyful tune, Ed divulges that Mo:Le is his favorite when in Victoria, poking fun as he hopes the song will get him free eats from now on.

A dedication to local Legend Comics, a jog at Elk Lake, an ecstatic rendition of Kevin’s journey whale watching, and then Uncle Jimmy’s Hangin’ Balls. Yes, according to Kevin, on a trip to Tofino there is a sign just as you leave the town, proclaiming “Home of Uncle Jimmy’s Salty Hangin’ Balls.” Upon group research Ed explains that it is a well known brand of salt lick for horses – and according to my research, they’re right.

I was completely entertained for every minute of the performance. BNL was exuberant in their songs, making the intimate show something truly spectacular. Running through a set list of old and new – they were a little weak on older Page dominated songs, but came back with admirable intensity on their new tracks – I didn’t see a BNL weighed down by the absence of their staple singer. Instead, I saw a band that regularly swapped instruments and vocal parts to create a dynamic performance that was better than any studio CD or radio edit.

Two ramped up encores later, it was over with a standing ovation and grins all around. As we all exited, I noticed that everyone was smiling and laughing their way home.

Barenaked Ladies
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre
Victoria, BC
April 6, 2010

By Chris Turner
RockStar Weekly

Facebook Comments
SHARE
Previous articleHedley Brings Pop-Punk Tour To Victoria
Next articleAll About Steve – DVD Review
Dan Savoie
Dan has written and photographed for nearly every major newspaper across Canada, as well magazines like Rolling Stone, Rock Scene and Metal Hammer. He has interviewed nearly 1,000 celebrities, including his favourite bands like KISS, Motley Crue, Metallica and Bon Jovi.