Concert Review: Bare Naked Ladies


It’s completely false advertising. There aren’t any ladies. No naked chicks. It’s four geezers with Canada accents. 

– Facebook comment on Barenaked Ladies

WC seems to have a thing for Canadian musicians who have achieved a certain amount of fame at home but are relatively little-known in the states. Still with 14 million albums sold and some thirty years of performances, Barenaked Ladies rock pretty good, ayh?

WC saw BNL at Outlaw Field, the outdoor venue at the Idaho Botanical Gardens. Outlaw Field has baked, sautéed and now attempted to drown WC, but they get some amazing acts.

The opening act was KT Tunstall, who is having something of a second career following her successful debut album Eye to the Telescope. The Scottish accent disappears when she sings. She did a nice set, including her hit, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.”

KT Turnstall at Outlaw Field

KT Tunstall at Outlaw Field

She’s an engaging artist; she made the rainstorm during her performance tolerable.

Tunstall was followed by Better Than Ezra. The band may have its fans, but WC isn’t among them. Inane lyrics, lame melodies and indifferent musicianship, and this was after the rain had stopped.

And then the main act, Bare Naked Ladies. They did a rock set and then broke to rearrange the stage for more of an acoustic set. They were worth the wait. The band has a very good songbook, and are terrific live, with lots of banter and the kind of free-form white guy improvisational rap that folkies like Jonathan Kingham pioneered.

Barenaked Ladies at outlaw Field, Boise, Idaho

Barenaked Ladies at outlaw Field, Boise, Idaho

They are talented musicians and clearly enjoy the appreciative crowd in Boise, Sure, they were disappointed not to be able to float down the Boise River through town this year. But the Boise River is at flood stage and floating would kill you. Maybe next time. As you can see from the photo, by the time BNL hit the stage the rainstorm had blown through and it was sunny, if cool.

BNL gave us some new tunes and some of their classics, including the wonderful “Brian Wilson” and “Odds Are.” Their homage to their home country, “Canada Dry” was very good.

It’s called the Last Summer on Earth Tour. WC hopes not. A fun evening with another very good, under-appreciated Canadian band.

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