Barenaked in Baltimore

Since last year’s Barenaked Ladies tour only came as far south as Boston, I was determined to see them this year, even though getting to Baltimore on a weeknight is not one of my favorite things. Jill passed on doing it (and she was scheduled to work), so I went with my friend Val.

I didn’t get much done yesterday. I went to work early, but had a doctor’s appointment at 11:30, then went home for lunch, because otherwise Illa would have not gone out for 13 hours, which is just too much. While I was there, I had a big lunch (roast duck with stuffing and gravy, green beans and garlic bread) which turned out to be a good thing. I left work to make the 5PM bus to the Metro, and got to the Waterfront stop (on the Green Line) by 6:10. It was a short walk to meet Marcia at her apartment. She finished getting ready and we hit the road in her car. I was happy about that for a couple reasons – first, my ankle is still bothering me, and second, I didn’t have to fight my way into DC. It was a good thing about traffic, because other than an accident blocking traffic right after we got on 295, it was clear sailing on 495 and 95. We parked in a nearby garage and were in the Meyerhoff Hall with 15 minutes to spare.

The Meyerhoff is the home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and is very nice. Only bad thing – the sandwiches they had didn’t look that appetizing and were $7 each. Since I wasn’t that hungry, I just had a slice of carrot cake (a more reasonable $4) and some water. By the time we ate and used the facilities, The LeeVees had started. I hadn’t heard of them, but we went anyway to check them out. Good thing, as they were pretty funny. An all Jewish rock band, they had good stage presence for this only being their second live show. Marcia even got their CD after they finished. Now that I’ve looked them up, I feel ashamed – I totally did not recognize Adam Gardner from Guster. No wonder they were good.

Around 8:45, the lights dimmed and the All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis came out and sang three holiday songs, to an enthusiastic reception. After they finished the third song, a door on stage right opened and BNL strolled out. Gathered around a single microphone in front of the choir, they played “I Saw Three Ships”, “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah”, and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” acoustic with the choir, ducking down when the choir led. Then they hummed :”Sleigh Ride” as the choir filed out, then went into “For You” (I think that and “Maybe Katie” are my faves from E2E). Then they plugged in, starting with “Pinch Me” (of course underwear was thrown). From that point on, it was a typical BNL show with adlibs and classic tunes, mixed with a liberal helping of holiday songs. They played my favorite of their holiday originals (very much a classic BNL tune), “Elf’s Lament”, as well as premiering a new song, “Everything Had Changed”. Later during the show, Tyler drew names out of a Santa hat to decide who’d play what instruments during “Feliz Navidad” (it was Ed on keys, Jim on guitar, Kevin on bass, Steve on drums, and Tyler on vox). They finished off with “If I Had $1000000” going into a very operatic version of “Silent Night”, then came back for two encores including both “Break Your Heart” and “Some Fantastic”.

They didn’t end ’til nearly 11, so we got going during the last song (but didn’t end up leaving before it ended, as I lost my camera bag somewhere and we tried to locate it). To catch the last bus at 12:10, I would have had to be at L’Enfant at 11:40, which was obviously a bad plan. Marcia offered to drop me at West Falls Church, and I made my bus with 5 minutes to spare, getting home a little before 1 (and I didn’t make it to bed until 2:30, so today was a slag).

That was my tenth time seeing them, and I think the best yet. It was a perfect holiday concert with the right mix of holiday tunes and hits. Although they didn’t do their version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (but that’s ok because I saw them do it in 2001). Too bad it was far away, because I think Jill would’ve really enjoyed it as well.



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