Barenaked Ladies are a sight to see.
I'm talking about the band from Canada, not some sleezy circus sideshow.When I say Barenaked Ladies, I mean drummer Tyler Stewart, bassist Jim Creeggan, keyboardist/vocalist Kevin Hearn and guitarists/vocalists Steven Page and Ed Robertson.
The band tore it up at the HORDE Festival Tuesday. The set was filled with spontaneous jams, impromptu raps and jokes and impeccable musicality. You could say the Barenaked Ladies is like the Late Show with David Letterman on a good night.
Barenaked Ladies literally burst onto the scene - after a 10-year climb to the top - earlier this year with it's fifth album, "Stunt."
On Tuesday, it appeared as if the Ladies' set was a take on "Revenge of the Nerds." The Barenaked Ladies isn't about long hair, spandex and drum solos. The formula winds down to a terrific airtight on-stage chemistry between the band members.
If Page decided to sing "Memory" from the musical "Cats," the band followed suit. Likewise, if Robertson wanted to do some rapping, along with some vocal percussion and scratches, the band gave him the backups. And the other guys quickly found their place in scheme of things.
The dry humor kept the audience enchanted.
"Hey, I'd like to introduce the Man from Snowy River!" shouted Robertson as he pointed to the security force on horseback.
Taking that as a cue, Page tried to coax the rider to make the horse do a stunt. And he sang his plea with the rest of the band and audience filling in the gaps.
The "Near and Far" Grover schtick from "Sesame Street" (all the way down to the band running to the edge and back of the stage) wound up as the intro to the band's - or more accurately - Page's cover of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On."
The Barenaked Ladies should have had a higher spot on the HORDE lineup. Although Ben Harper's brand of slide blues and rock gave the main stage audience a huge adreanaline rush just before Blues Traveler closed the show, it was the Barenaked Ladies who charmed everyone who attended.
Then again, maybe it was Blues Traveler who didn't want to follow such a sweet set. Maybe Blues Traveler leader John Popper - who is the HORDE Fest's father - felt it was strategically smart to have Harper separate the Ladies from the Traveler.
Logically, Harper's blend of blues and hippie-philosophy jams paved the path for Blues Traveler's entrance.
But it was the Barenaked Ladies who brought down the house.