Concert Reviews

Barenaked Ladies with Alan Doyle at Massey Hall

Photographs by Daniela Tantalo.

The Barenaked Ladies opened up their 20th show at Massey Hall with “Get Back Up” from their latest album, “Silverball”. Although there was no huge introduction, it wasn’t necessary as they have had extreme success without doing so over the last 27 years. 

Considering it was The Silverball tour, I expected majority of the set to be consisting of their new songs however, they had a great variety of the new and old. Although work from “Silverball” may not be my favorite out of their 14 albums, I still enjoyed performances of songs from the album because they were played with such passion and energy. There is nothing better than a successful band who has played for years, and still has such appreciation to be there playing.

They kept the set lively and entertaining while being interactive and comedic with the crowd in between songs, and continuously made sure everyone was having a great time. Although it was an older crowd, the energy was still high. Singer Ed made sure everyone was dancing, “If you want someone to sit down because you can’t see, chances are you’re doing it wrong.” 

It was expected that they would have an amazing show because they are so reputable however, they exceeded my expectations. The acoustics were amazing (expected from Massey Hall), they played with a clear and crisp sound, and it didn’t sound overproduced. I also enjoyed the fact of how well they composed themselves. Considering the fact of how huge they are as a band and that they were playing Massey Hall, the way that they interact and the vibe they brought made it seem as if you were in a small venue of just maybe 200 people, because they are so personal and organic.

When “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” came on, the band brought opener Alan Doyle back out to join them for the song, and it was a breathtaking performance with cool blue lighting. The emotion and passion you could sense during the performance was amazing, and it touched my heart. There was also a great unity between Doyle and the band.

One of my only negative comments would have to be about the performance for “Passcode”, which is sung by Kevin Hearn while playing the piano as well. Since he is the lead vocal in the song, I felt that he should have been placed closer to the stage, rather he was placed towards the back of the stage; it just seemed off.

A great additive to the show was the playing of “The Big Bang Theory” theme song. Robertson said he was aware that some fans were offended by the theme song due to beliefs, so he said he made a different version to fit their beliefs, and simply said “God Did It”, then went on to sing the actual song.

Towards the end of the show, the band played classics such as Pinch Me, One Week, If I Had $1,000,000, and were even joined by Dee Snider, singer of Twisted Sister for the final performance. The band played “Were Not Gonna Take It.” , and the crowd was in absolute awe. It was extremely unexpected, and definitely added to the show.

My favorite performance was “If I Had $1,000,000”, collaborating with Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies. There was an extreme sense of unity, with such a large amount of people on the stage playing at once, and it was so heartfelt and beautiful.

This concert was definitely one of the best I have been to in a while, and it was extremely intimate and beautifully done. “Here’s to 27 more years”.

Thanks to Live Nation Ontario for media access.

About author

Lifestyle Editor & Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Freelance Music Journalist, aspiring to be as good as William Miller from Almost Famous. Indie/Alternative music fanatic, and a Media Studies student with some chill vibes.