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Barenaked Ladies have their way with fun crowd in Penticton

Ed Robertson, left, Jim Creeggan and the rest of the Barenaked Ladies hit the SOEC stage Sunday evening in support of their most recent CD entitled Grinning Streak. - Percy N. Hebert/Western News
Ed Robertson, left, Jim Creeggan and the rest of the Barenaked Ladies hit the SOEC stage Sunday evening in support of their most recent CD entitled Grinning Streak.
— image credit: Percy N. Hebert/Western News

A playful group of Barenaked Ladies had their way with an appreciative crowd Sunday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.

On the second stop of a 10-date cross-country tour, the Canadian pop-rockers showcased impressive musical and comedic talents that charmed a nearly full house of fans.

Frontman Ed Robertson earned the loudest laughs when he took a light-hearted jab at Penticton, where residents were “so friendly while we perused a mostly closed Main Street” before the show.

Later, he pointed into the crowd and excitedly identified “the guy who made me a latte at Fibonacci’s today.”

Bass player Jim Creeggan also busted up the audience when he picked up a thong that had been thrown on stage and placed it on his head.

“Thanks for the headband. I feel like John McEnroe in the ‘70s,” he said.

The four-piece ensemble played from a sparsely decorated stage, which featured risers for the drum kit and keyboard, but little else besides lighting equipment.

Even without flourishes like video screens, the Ladies’ talent was easy to see as each member played multiple instruments, sang and danced.

The set list featured 20 songs: six off the new album, Grinning Streak, plus many classics dating back nearly 25 years.

They opened with Limits from the latest record, then went back to older gems, like Pinch Me, Brian Wilson and Lovers in a Dangerous Time.

“I know you were enjoying the catalogue of monster hits and you’re dying to hear material from our new album,” Robertson said, tongue in cheek, before moving once again to more recent work.

Heading into the home stretch, the quartet belted out other fan favourites, including the theme song they wrote for The Big Bang Theory, plus One Week and a sing-along version of If I Had $1000000.

Their last number was a medley of recent hits from other pop artists, like Roar by Katy Perry, Royals from Lorde and Wake Me Up by Avicii.

Following a two-minute standing ovation, the Ladies returned to the stage for an encore with Robertson on drums and usual drummer Tyler Stewart on lead vocals for Alcohol, then covers of Violent Femmes’ Blister in the Sun and Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.

Stewart ended his turn in the spotlight with a set of rocker-style leg kicks.

“You try doing that with man boobs,” he joked.

Noticeably missing from the set were Boomerang, the first single off Grinning Streak, and older numbers like Jane and The Old Apartment, which became hits with the vocals of former frontman Steven Page, who left the band in 2009.

No mention was made of Page during the show, which lasted about an hour and 40 minutes.

The first opening act was Clara Venice, a self-described "one-girl band from Toronto,” who performed a handful of electronic dance songs and pop numbers from her album Love Riddle.

She was followed by Canadian country-rockers Ladies Of The Canyon, who put on a powerful performance in support of their new record, Diamond Heart.

Official set list:

Limits

Never Is Enough

Pinch Me

Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Falling for the First Time

Gonna Walk

For You

Keepin’ It Real

Sound of Your Voice

Smile

I Can Sing

Blame It On Me

Brian Wilson

Did I Say That Out Loud?

Light Up My Room

Odds Are

The Big Bang Theory theme song

One Week

If I Had $1000000

Alcohol

 

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