BnL at Universal Studios

From BnL at Universal

Got to see Barenaked Ladies do their first performance as a four-piece last night, and, if you’ll excuse the pun, they were fantastic. (Even punnier since the concert was at Universal Studios, whose sister park, Islands of Adventure has a section of the park devoted to the Marvel Super Heroes.)
On the Ships and Dip Cruises, I really got an appreciation for how much musical talent each of the members of BnL has, and that talent really shone last night, as they worked to figure out what this new arrangement of the band meant for their roles.

There was a moment during one song where I was singing along with the Steven harmony line, and I suddenly realized someone was doing it on stage. Did they have something recorded? Why no, it was Tyler, doing an absolutely bang up job with the back-up vocals. Jim did a fantastic job singing “Maybe Katie”, which always kind of sounded like a The Brothers Creeggan song to me. And he also did some fantastic dancing and moving around on stage. Kevin, it’s hard not to praise Kevin as the utility guy off the bench. He plays like 7,000 instruments, sings, and jokes. He did a fantastic job on “Sound of Your Voice”, which is particularly kewl since he wrote the song. Speaking of the cruise, I had heard him do the song there, and liked his version better than Steve’s version. Steve’s got the huge voice for it, but there’s something about the emotion in Kevin’s voice that I identify with more.

From BnL at Universal

Kevin struggled a bit on Million Dollars. Though he stepped up on the answer vocals to Ed’s call, he didn’t seem to have the timing quite right. Finally, Ed looked out at us, the audience, singing along loudly already and said, “Hey, can you folks sing along here; Kevin could use the help!” And we all joined in 1,000 percent at that point. Even before the show, I thought, they ought to just start doing Million Dollars as a duet with the audience, since they’ve sort of been doing it that way for a while already. And sure enough… It just goes back to my thoughts about Mike Evin earlier – music is collaborative, and the best musicians know that the audience is a part of any performance.

And I hope to be a part of the audience at BnL concerts for a long time into the future. The concert really made me look forward to what they’re about to craft in the studio. Can’t wait for the new CD! Can’t wait for them to drop by Orlando again.

From BnL at Universal

Steven Page Leaves Barenaked Ladies

Can’t say I haven’t felt like this was coming for a while, Steven Page has left Barenaked Ladies.

You can see interviews with Steven and Ed on this Canadian TV news site. It really is a sad day, and yet…well…the only constant in the world we live in is change. And change can be good in creative endeavours.

Thankfully, it was a friendly separation by all accounts. It leaves the door open for Steve to jump back into BnL, either temporarily or maybe even as a regular member again someday. (I mean, if Ships and Dip taught me anything, it taught me that artists dropping in on each other is a great thing.)  I’m really looking forward to seeing what both he and the band do in their separate projects. I really liked Steven’s Vanity Project album. And I think, maybe, in some ways BnL will grow into the hole he’s going to leave in the band.

You can follow Steve at his blog, and also read about several really kewl sounding projects he’s doing.

It’s okay to be sad, but don’t write anybody off. Life is all about creation and creation is all about growing and changing.

Ships and Dip V – Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies Sings A New Song

One of the great treats Natasha and I got on Ships and Dip V as “Triple Dippers” (meaning we’ve been on all three BnL cruises) is tickets to the two Songwriters Panels held on the ship. During the panel, a group of artists talk about their music and get to perform it acoustic-like. Sometimes you get to hear an interesting story, other times you get to hear a different take on a song, or something new.

Ed Robertson of BnL performed a new song for us on the cruise, and here’s the YouTubeage.