Barenaked Ladies Are Me…and my friend

Last Friday, I met a friend at Mohegan Sun to see Barenaked Ladies, for which I had complimentary tickets. The show, in a nutshell, was great.

I left work promptly at 5pm and made it to Mohegan Sun in an hour and 40 minutes. Not too shabby. My friend arrived shortly thereafter and we went to the ticket window to get the tickets about a half hour before the start of the show. No offense to the first opener, Angel Taylor, but our first priority was getting dinner rather than catching the opening act. Luckily, we were able to get an immediate seat at Big Bubba’s BBQ and had a nice meal (I opted for the chicken and ribs combo, and she had meatloaf. Because two out of three ain’t bad.).

After dinner, we headed into the arena in the middle of Ben Kweller’s set. He was pretty darn good. I especially enjoyed Sawdust Man. After Ben Kweller, though, it was the moment of truth. Barenaked Ladies were going to take the stage and this was my first time seeing them without Steven Page.

And you know what? I didn’t miss him at all. They opened their set with Who Needs Sleep? (an always odd choice, in my opinion), and then broke into The Old Apartment. It was as it always is with them. They rocked the house. It wasn’t long before Ed Robertson was freestyle-rapping about playing at Mohegan Sun, and then him and the band started talking about how he’d gotten schooled at poker that day. It appears he played a $200 buy-in tournament and learned a couple lessons along the way. Lesson 1: Trip 9’s aren’t worth a damn (“I was outkicked!”), and lesson 2: Queens full of 10’s? Fold ’em! (“He slowplayed me!”). All was right with the world. I’m not familiar with much of the new stuff, but Angel Taylor did come out to sing with Ed on one of the songs I DO know, Every Subway Car, and it sounded really good. They even played a song called Eraser from their kid’s CD Snack Time, which was great fun. The other band members (mainly Kevin Hearn) took over a lot of Steven Page’s vocals, and his absence was barely felt. In fact, the only time I really thought about him was when they played You Run Away, off their new All in Good Time album, which is clearly about him.

And as always, as I was hoping, they did their famous medley finale. It started with Kevin Hearn playing the piano and singing Magic by Pilot. This led into the band doing a song and dance routine that included Empire State of Mind by Jay Z, I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas (who were coincidentally playing the XL Center in Hartford the very same night), Baby by Justin Bieber, and California Gurls by Katy Perry, topped off by “Mohegan Sun, won’t you come” at the very end to the tune of Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden (which they’ve done at their previous Mohegan Sun shows). The crowd, of course, clamored for an encore, and BNL gladly obliged. They played 3 songs for their encore, and for the first, Ed Robertson played drums while Tyler Stewart stumbled across the stage belting out Alcohol (that song was made for him to perform), and they finished the night with Brian Wilson (the song, not the Beach Boys singer).

We left thoroughly satisfied with the show, and continued to do a little gambling on the penny slots. And even though it only took me an hour and twenty minutes to get home, it was still 2:15am. But who needs sleep, right?

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