Photos and Review by: Jamie LeBlanc
Lineup: Barenaked Ladies, Five For Fighting, Del Amitri
Venue: The Anthem, Washington, D.C.
Date: July 5, 2023
In an absolutely amazing evening in Washington DC, The Barenaked Ladies brought the best vibes to the Capital! But before the Canadians took the stage, the crowd “rolled with” the Scottish Alt-Rock power house Del Amitri. The band took the stage with a statement that they are still here to melt some faces!! It’s not often you see a band from overseas that gained popularity 30+ years ago able to still get a crowd screaming – yet there they were! Del was led by front man Justin Currie, but lead guitarist Iain Harvie stole the show with his seemingly magical guitar stylings!
Next up, the performance you’ve been waiting “100 years” for, FIVE FOR FIGHTING. Piano-based rock “Superman” Vladimir John Ondrasik led the group’s sensational performance. Five’s set was a mash-up of old and new songs galore, including their hits – you guessed it – “100 years” and “Superman”. But honestly it wasn’t just the music that made their set special, but a full tribute to the troops had this D.C. crowd cheering like it was a 4th of July celebration. Before they ended their night, the band had a special surprise, a supporting act encore! Vladimir led the crowd in a full blow vocal warm up before giving the most exciting cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” I’ve ever heard. Five For Fighting had one last element of surprise before exiting, and led the crowd once more in a sing-a-long of “God Bless America.” A truly fitting way to close their set on a special holiday set.
As the last set ended, fans had something that I wish would be done at every concert. BNL had a hour glass count down on the Anthem’s big screen to let fans know when it was time to get back to partying! Once the last grain of sand flowed through the glass our Canadian friends burst on the stage with “Matter of Time”. No matter if it was a song widely known by the audience like “It’s All Been Done” or a new song like “Lovin’ Life” fans old and new found connections with the music and actively sung along. There were plenty of little surprised throughout the show like an adlib version of TayTays “Shake It Off” or the back-lit screen playing the music video of “Odds Are”. Fans went absolutely BEZERK when the band played hits like “One Week” and “The Big Bang Theory Theme”. While all of this was really fun, what made the night so special was BNLs charisma. Not a single minute of the concert felt like a choreographed show, but more so a bunch of friends jamming out with 6,000 of their (not so closest) friends. That my friends, is what makes a band like Barenaked Ladies feel like a “Million Dollars”. I had to throw one more pun in there ;). Now, grab your phones and stream BNL’s latest hit “Lovin’ Life”