A Barenaked peepshow: The Barenaked Ladies maintain contagious energy at DAR Hall

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing the Barenaked Ladies perform, you know that in addition to being one of the country’s most successful rock bands, they’re also just a bunch of comedians. Last Monday’s performance was a perfect example of this.

At 8 p.m. sharp Steven Page, Jim Creeggan, Ed Peterson, Kevin Hearn and Tyler Stewart performed for an excited audience of all ages at DAR Constitution Hall. The high-octane “Peepshow” is an interactive tour that showcases different songs from the band’s latest album, Everything to Everyone. The set also includes some old hits, with a break in the middle to allow the audience to ask questions.

They began the show with “Testing 1,2,3” and a hilarious freestyle rap that allowed the band to poke fun at itself while chronicling the cities it’s toured thus far. The mockery continued throughout, as the musicians joked about drummer Stewart’s bowel movements before the show.

What really makes the Barenaked Ladies special is their spontaneity and contagious energy. Every note, jump or joke seems as natural as breathing. It’s hard to believe these guys had been on tour non-stop for a month.

The relationship between lead singers Page and Peterson seems to come just as naturally, as they flawlessly share the spotlight and complement one another. Page’s strong vocals breed life into tracks like “Next Time” and “War on Drugs,” which is dedicated to singer/songwriter Elliot Smith, whose life and death had a profound effect on Page’s life and career. Peterson offers a completely different sound with his jovial style that makes the audience want to sing along to fast-paced, tongue-twisting songs like “One Week.” On top of its vocals, the band impressively plays a variety of instruments. While Peterson and Page had several guitar changes, Kevin Hearn seamlessly switched from keyboards to guitar to accordion and back again without missing a note.

During the interactive part of the show, a fan asked the band to sing “Happy Birthday.” But because the Ladies had already warned the audience not to make any requests, they sang “Happy Stupid Question to You” instead. When asked who their musical influences were, the musicians mentioned The Who, Led Zeppelin, Tina Turner and the Rolling Stones.

After the Q-and-A portion of the show, BNL closed the first half of its set with “If I had a Million Dollars,” pumping the audience up for another round. The second half began with great tracks from the new album that are rooted in the band’s signature style. All in all, the Barenaked Ladies did not disappoint the sold-out crowd. They rocked the audience with all they had, proving that their new album is just as fun as their previous albums. As always, they kept fans feeling good.

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