Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Review: BNL Rocks Red Rocks - Barenaked Ladies

by Phil Chapinal, Music-News.com

And they really do! For a band that’s known for relatively cozy pop songs and being on the quirky side Barenaked Ladies pack a right old punch on this live album recorded at Colorado’s Red Rock Ampitheater.

After the pinball machines intro, BNL kick off with Get Back Up, its popiness intact, the guitars beefed up a touch. They do sound a little harder at times but their humor is key and there’s an easy going vibe throughout the album with band and audience interacting good naturally. Take Gonna Walk, the band encourage the audience to take part telling them that anyone who doesn’t is a racist, and damned if it works.

The hits of course are present; Brian Wilson is especially touching, the harmonies superbly realized, a buoyant If I Had $1,000,000 and Pinch Me probably had the crowd permasmiling. Another highlight is when Colin Hay’s performs Who Can It Be Now with the band and Blaise Garza (Violent Femmes) on saxophone. The Big Bang Theory Theme is tossed out and despite its ubiquity this longer, busier version washes away the program's edited version, and the urge to skip the track. It also feels like the natural intro to One Week.

They do trip up with their cover of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll. Its expected but, following on from their own rocker, Drawing – including a few lines from God Save the Queen – it sounds tired and actually like they are taking the piss, and not in a nice way, and sits uncomfortably with rest of the album.

Nevertheless, this is a good entertaining live album, which will leave fans happy and is a good introduction to the band for newbies.

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