GUEST BLOG: #BNLUK2016 thoughts – by Sipsy
Having attended three shows on the #BNLUK2016 tour, Stephen ‘Sipsy’ Jessup-Peacock shares his thoughts on the most recent iteration of the BNL live show…
Barenaked Ladies saved my life!
Now you may feel that’s a strong statement, but I feel if you are going to read my review of this most recent #BNLUK tour, you need to know how I associate with this band.
The announcement of a new UK tour is always good news for me, for many reasons. I get to see some good friends who I don’t get to see every day, I get to meet new people who are there for the same reason I am, and I get to see my favourite band live on stage.
2016 saw them visit a few places they hadn’t been in a while: Liverpool, Cardiff and Bournemouth – which I didn’t attend – and Cambridge which I did. Regular stops Glasgow and London were also on the tour map, and a rare UK festival appearance at Bingley too. Being as big of a fan as I am, and being in the financial spot to be able to, I decided to do three of the seven. London and Cambridge being my nearest were obvious ones and the fact that BNL shows in Glasgow are always great, I figured I’d make the long journey again.
September comes and my excitement for the tour is at a high. The trip to Glasgow was fun, show was brilliant, and even without the fact I was serenaded by Ed Robertson in the final song of the main show, it was a great show. High energy, good ‘banter’ between the band members and even their traditional UK support act Boothby Graffoe.
Musically they sounded great, they played one or two songs I hadn’t heard them play live before (Hello City, Boomerang), which was a pleasure. The show ended with the big five hits in their normal live show order: “Brian Wilson”, “Pinch Me”, “Big Bang”, “One Week” and “Million Dollars”. And as normal, “Million Dollars” was followed by a bunch of pop songs in a medley (and as a big WWE fan, I never thought I’d hear BNL do a version of a Wrestlemania theme song! [Flo Rida – “My House” – Wrestlemania 31]. This pop medley has been a staple of their sets for the past few years, in fact since the 2009 tour (the first without Steve). The songs change, but the dance moves and actions tend not to – despite an appearance in this tour from a certain space villain from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. 👍
The medley signals the end of the ‘main show’. Experienced concert-goers will know that any band worth their hype will be delivering an encore.
The now-traditional encore of Tyler Stewart rocking out to “Alcohol” and “Allergies” is a good way to finish a show, and it’s nice to have seen it evolve from him just singing “Alcohol” to him singing a medley and having more time up there.
Once the music is done, the front of the crowd has clambered for any memorabilia from the stage, we move outside and if you’re lucky enough and willing to wait, you’ll get a chance to speak to the band. As a group of human beings they’re pretty decent people. They treat their fans well and are just generally nice to everyone. They understand how much them being nice can mean to people like me and other fans of the group.
The Glasgow show ended pretty late and I had a great time. It was my 11th time seeing BNL live and it certainly wasn’t my last.
Cambridge and London came and went shortly after, and both followed a very similar pattern as described above. The same songs were played, with one or two tracks from a 19 track set list different from the show before, and the show in the same format as before:
3 songs in quick succession to start
Yoko Ono w/Boothby
The Big 5
Tyler rocking out medley
This is a tried and tested method and they have been performing this style of show since 2009.
I have yet to come away from a show with some disappointment with their show. I have however come away from the recent gigs feeling like I wanted… more. I’ve been seeing this show for the past seven years – and I feel I’ve changed more in that time than the show has!
I love the Marvel Avengers movies, the big superhero films. They are brilliant pieces of cinema that keep you entertained for 180/200 minutes. I’ve seen the film 10 or so times and I think it’s brilliant each time, but with each viewing I’m more likely to check my phone, talk to others in the room or just generally be distracted. Not because it’s not a great film, but because I’ve seen it before.
Now luckily, through ad libs and different song selections, the BNL gigs do not fall into that mould exactly. BNL change things slightly each tour just enough that it’s different, kind of like a directors cut of the same great movie. It’s the same film, just with different tweaks.
It’s now 2016, the band has been going for 27 years and have been a four piece for approaching a decade. These guys are excellent musicians and entertainers. Maybe its because I hold them in such high regard that I want more than the great stuff they already give. How about Tyler does other classic songs in his encore? I’d love “Shoebox” in that rock style. Why can’t we start the show with one or two of the big five? Instead of using other people’s songs to end the show, why not insert some classic BNL into the pop medley?
I love this band and the music they make, and if I’m financially able to, I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing them play to UK crowds for many years to come. If they change the show I’ll be happy, if they don’t… well I’ll still be happy too!
Long live the band and long may they keep on touring!
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