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Concert: Barenaked Ladies in Phoenix

Before Canada's Barenaked Ladies hit the stage Wednesday (7/25) for the Last Summer on Earth Tour at Phoenix's Comerica Theatre, a song with the line "Happiness is what we sell" blared over the loud speakers. Nothing could more aptly describe a BNL show. // Tour dates at SoundSpike

Before Canada's Barenaked Ladies hit the stage Wednesday (7/25) for the Last Summer on Earth Tour at Phoenix's Comerica Theatre, a song with the line "Happiness is what we sell" blared over the loud speakers. Nothing could more aptly describe a BNL show.

Lead singer Ed Robertson maintained a strong sense of humor throughout the band's 17-song set, poking fun of Arizona's heat, his movie-hopping afternoon and forgetting the words to "One Week."

The show began with "Every Subway Car," a song from BNL's 2010 album "All in Good Time," its first collection without singer Steven Page. After the second song, "The Old Apartment," Robertson welcomed the "people of the heat."

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"At least it's not humid," he said, harassing fans who have a penchant for justifying a move to the "dry heat" weather of Arizona. That led to an ad lib song about the heat.

Robertson, when "It's All Been Done" wrapped up, told a story about how he spent his afternoon in Phoenix. He said he rode his longboard to an AMC Theater "through the sweltering, oppressive heat" (come on, it was only 105). Robertson bragged that it was a "double feature" afternoon -- but the staff didn't know. He bought a 4:30 p.m. ticket for "Safety Not Guaranteed" but showed up at 3:30, thinking that was the start time. So he saw the beginning of "Ted" in one theater, the whole of "Safety Not Guaranteed" in a second theater, and the end of "Ted" in a third theater. Drummer Tyler Stewart mimicked Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, dubbed "America's Toughest Sheriff," as well as the Arizona immigration laws.

"I can't believe you weren't immediately deported," Stewart said, which generated groans from the audience.

BNL pulled out a rarity -- "I Don't Get It Anymore" from this year's "Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before!" -- and it went over well with the crowd of about 3,000. Included in the audience was a 9-year-old girl named Jessica, who joined the band on keyboards for "What a Wild Tune," a song from "Snacktime!" BNL's first children's record. Whenever Robertson gave her "the fiery eyeball," it was time to "rock" the keyboards. The girl, whom BNL met during a pre-show meet and greet, was given a standing ovation by the fans.

Singles were the crux of show's latter part: "Brian Wilson," "Pinch Me," "Big Bang Theory," "One Week" and "If I Had $1,000,000." During "Pinch Me," Robertson introduced multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn as "He puts the 'Pho' in Phoenix, Vietnamese Noodle Soup!"

But the show began to slightly fall apart during "One Week." Robertson sang through the first verse only to realize he forgot the second.

"I know this part," he said laughing. "I wrote this part." He forgot another line to the song and frustratingly said, "I keep messing up this song." Stewart rescued him the second time.

The concert quickly recovered. Blues Traveler's John Popper, whose band played an incredible set earlier in the night, joined the quartet on harmonica for "If I Had $1,000,000." Robertson was in awe of Popper, telling the crowd, "I don't know if you've ever put one of those things up to your face, but it's really hard. ... It's not the heat, it's the sweet harmonica solos."

BNL ended its show with the trademark Barenaked Ladies Rap featuring a mash up pop hits including Alphaville's "Forever Young," Taio Cruz's "Dynamite," Goyte's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," featuring Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman.

The tour, which also included formidable performances by Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Cracker, ended with "Jerome," BNL's song about a rural Arizona town.

Barenaked Ladies Setlist:
"Every Subway Car"
"The Old Apartment"
Ad libbed song about Phoenix
"It's All Been Done"
"Easy"
"I Don't Get It Anymore"
"Falling for the First Time"
"What a Wild Tune"
"Blame It On Me" (acoustic)
"Brian Wilson"
"Too Little Too Late"
"Pinch Me"
"Big Bang Theory"
"One Week"
"If I Had $1,000,000" (with John Popper on harmonica)
Barenaked Ladies rap

ENCORE

"Jerome"

 tour dates and tickets

July 2012
31 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery (Last Summer on Earth)

August 2012
2 - Boise, ID - Idaho Botanical Garden (Last Summer on Earth)
3 - Redmond, WA - Marymoor Amphitheatre (Last Summer on Earth)
4 - Sandpoint, ID - Memorial Field (Festival at Sandpoint)
7 - Apple Valley, MN - Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater (Last Summer on Earth)
9 - Council Bluffs, IA - Harrah's Casino - Stir Concert Cove (Last Summer on Earth)
10 - West Allis, WI - Wisconsin State Fair Park (Wisconsin State Fair)
11 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre (Last Summer on Earth)
12 - Indianapolis, IN - Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park (Last Summer on Earth)
14 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (Last Summer on Earth)
15 - Philadelphia, PA - Penn's Landing (Last Summer on Earth)
17 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Bethlehem Event Center (Last Summer on Earth)
18 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion (Last Summer on Earth)
19 - Bangor, ME - Bangor Waterfront Pavilion (Last Summer on Earth)

 tour dates and tickets

     

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