April 04, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Barenaked Ladies reveal energy

PORTLAND – If I had a million dollars, I wouldn’t eat Kraft dinners. I wouldn’t buy a real fur coat – that’s cruel. And I wouldn’t buy anyone’s love. I would pay to have even half the energy the Barenaked Ladies had during Wednesday night’s show at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The Ladies, who are all men, showed the sold-out audience exactly why the Portland mayor awarded them the key to the city that afternoon. The Canadian band’s vibrant, two-hour set was their way of saying thanks.

From the time Steven Page burst on the stage through the mouth of a giant inflatable mask, the Ladies didn’t stop, playing many new songs from “Maroon,” and many old favorites, including “One Week,” their first No. 1 single. And yes, Ed Robertson sang all of the almost-unintelligible fast parts, perfectly.

They bounced, ran and even tangoed across the stage, stopping to joke about everything from Fresh Samantha (“Can’t I just have juice?”) to the dressing rooms at the Civic Center (“The shower drain still has hair in it from Loverboy.”)

Boston-based Guster, the opening act, had a few jokes of their own, including using their key to the city as a bottle opener.

Their 45-minute set was a little mellower, but so good. From the intense “Airport Song” to radio favorites (in some areas) “Barrel of a Gun” and “Fa Fa,” the guys from Guster didn’t rest. Their drummer (or bongo-er, as the case may be), Brian Rosenworcel, was merciless, and his hands are probably still sore.

Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner’s harmonies were the perfect lead-in to the Ladies, who came in wearing matching outfits, of course.

The backdrop, which included illuminated balloons, a giant mask and video screens, was as over-the-top as the band. When they played a medley of every song they’ve ever written, the song titles streamed over footage of the band like a “Songs of the ’80s” ad on TV.

They also covered everyone from Britney Spears to Biz Markie in a whirlwind finale. Appropriately, they ended their encore with “Go Home,” but everyone stayed a little while longer anyway.


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

comments for this post are closed

You may also like