Believe it or not, The Barenaked Ladies are five fully clothed men, and they sure know how to entertain.
The Barenaked Ladies (BNL) proved this on Thursday, Feb. 15 in Madison Square Garden, when they performed a 2-hour set to a sold-out crowd that included 97 members of the Quinnipiac community.
The Social Programming Board sponsored the bus trip that took students and staff to New York that evening. Excited trip participants boarded the buses at 3:30 p.m. and were on their way minutes later.
After fighting rush hour traffic and driving through Harlem and uptown Manhattan, students and staff were given their tickets and let loose in New York City at 6 p.m.
Students and staff took advantage of the opportunity to get something to eat or drink before entering `The Garden’ and climbing up nine levels to get to their seats.
The concert started at 8 p.m. with Chantal Kreviazuk as the first opening act. She went through a singularly unimpressive set that lasted half an hour too long. Kreviazuk didn’t even sing the song that made her famous, “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” from the “Armageddon” soundtrack.
Audience members were heard shouting, “Where’s Guster?” throughout Kreviazuk’s tiresome assortment of songs, and soon they were rewarded.
Guster came on stage as the second opening act to loud cheers by the growing crowd.
Guster’s half-hour performance seemed to charge up both the crowd and the band. They played crowd favorites like “Barrel of a Gun” and “What You Wish For” from their latest release, Lost and Gone Forever.
The banter in between songs mainly consisted of how excited they were to be playing in Madison Square Garden and how it doesn’t get much better than that.
Guster ended on a high note, with an electric rendition of “Fa Fa” that included a guest appearance by Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies.
It was time for the main event. After a short clip of video animation, The Barenaked Ladies took the stage. They entered through the mouth of the large inflatable head that was the centerpiece of the stage and led off with “Too Little Too Late,” from their latest release, Maroon.
All five members of the quintet wore an unusual uniform of blue and white button down shirts in a tile pattern with black leather pants.
The pants inspired “The Trouser Song,” one of the many improvisational songs that make every BNL concert an unique experience.
This song was a tongue-in-cheek reference to a compliment on their leather pants Regis Philben gave the band during their appearance on “Regis and Kelly” earlier that morning.
The band’s hour and 45 minute set was full of energy and pep, and the song mix was an eclectic mix of new material from Maroon (“Pinch Me”), and classics from old favorites like Born on a Pirate Ship (“The Old Apartment”). “If I had a Million Dollars,” off of their 1992 release Gordon, is the perennial crowd favorite that rounded off their enthusiastic performance.
Regina Osofsky, a senior occupational therapy major, said her favorite part of the show was when the band sang “If I Had a Million Dollars.” “No one was sitting in their seats. It was awesome!” said Osofsky.
The band ended with improvisation and some irreverent covers of various popular songs, as well as some that are not so popular. After mocking Britney Spears, asking “Who Let the Dogs Out,” and letting the audience know that Steven Page’s heart will go on, even if Celine Dion’s won’t, The Barenaked Ladies left the stage.
Of course, they did return. Thanks to the loud cheers of the fans, BNL performed 2 encores. Throughout both encores, BNL repeatedly expressed their appreciation to their fans for their support and dedication, and for letting them sell out Madison Square Garden.
Their fans expressed their appreciation right back, singing along and screaming throughout the whole concert and both encores.
And members of the Quinnipiac contingent expressed their appreciation to the SPB for organizing the event.
“I had a great time. Everything ran smoothly – there were no surprises,” said Osofsky.