Barenaked Ladies flash through Fairbanks

Alyssa Dunehew / Sun Star Reporter
June 11, 2011

It’s officially summer here in Fairbanks, and the Blue Loon has already put on their annual outdoor all-ages summer concert. Hailing from Scarborough, Ontario, the popular ‘90’s band Barenaked Ladies (BNL) made a stop in Fairbanks before heading to England, pleasing the crowds for a solid two hours of rockin’ entertainment on Friday evening, June 3.

Ed Robertson flashes the camera a smile during his performance with the rest of the Barenaked Ladies at the Blue Loon, Friday, June 3. Alyssa Dunehew/ Sun Star

There was a good chance that every woman in the crowd swooned as lead singer Ed Robertson donned one of his many acoustic guitars and flashed a beautiful white smile. The band was very personable, and is well known for their comedic banter, improvised rapping and beatboxing between songs. They led hilarious conversations amongst each other, sharing memories of the previous day’s moose encounter while driving to Chena Hot Springs. “We had no business being in a Ford Focus!” screamed Robertson into the mic, making swerving gestures with his arms, suggesting the moose were specifically on the hunt for Canadians.

BNL proved to be a refreshing twist to the past few Solstice concerts, as the band is more soft rock than some of the others brought up in previous years such as Puddle of Mud and Third Eye Blind. The weather stayed refreshing as well, only drizzling for the last hour of the concert.

Jim Creeggan, BNL bassist for 21 years was excited to be in Fairbanks for the first time, and seemed to be relaxed after the release of their latest album.

“We toured like crazy last year, promoting our record, ‘All In Good Time’, and now we’re starting to write for the next record, and playing outdoor shows said Creegan. “I love playing the summer shows.”

The opening band Roman Candle was much more impressive local band than expected, and frontman Matt Hopper gave the crowd a look at their new album titled “Jersey Finger”, which is not actually an insult to New Jersey, Hopper said, as one of their members is actually from Jersey. Their sound is a mix of soft folk, blues, and indie rock, with psychedelic riffs reminiscent of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Hopper was raised in Alaska but currently resides in Boise, ID. He has worked with many different bands and artists throughout his life. The new Roman Candle album is available for download from www.digstation.com.

BNL was welcomed by an audience with a wide age range. Lathrop High School student Kelsey Monahan said she grew up listening to the band because of her parents, and was glad to be able to get back into their music before the concert.

Nile Henderson, a soon-to-be UAF Freshman, said, “As soon as I knew they were coming, I thought, ‘Oh, I need to dig those old CD’s out.” It was interesting to see the amount of adults at the concert who probably knew the music better than the younger half of the crowd.

Another all-ages concert happening at the Blue Loon this summer will feature Papa Roach.

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