• Review

REVIEW: Barenaked Ladies, Gin Blossoms & Toad the Wet Sprocket at Riverbend Music Center

Photo Cred: Michael Gabbard Photography

Did they create this lineup just for my little 90's heart? No. But I'm going to pretend they did. If you have ever been in my car for an extended amount of time (from about 1998 until now), there is a guarantee that I popped on BNL, Gin Blossoms, Toad the Wet Sprocket and even solo Glen Phillips.

 The Last Summer on Earth Tour has been a long time coming (3 years and 4 show dates) and it was well worth the wait.  The soggy start to the evening with even a few flashes of lightning, may have alarmed some that this show was going to be canceled. But PNC Pavilion is considered an indoor venue, so all worked out!

 Toad the Wet Sprocket opened the evening. Typically for the opening band, the crowd is sparse, but it was a packed house for Toad. Glen exclaimed to the crowd, "So glad to finally play this show. It only took 3 years and about a month!" The set was short but sweet including all of our favorites; "Come Down," "All I Want," "Something's Always Wrong," "Fall Down," "Walk on the Ocean," and more! The set even featured a guest tambourine player, Robin Wilson - who ushered us to get on our feet towards end of "Walk on the Ocean." No one hesitated.

Gin Blossoms were up next! An even shorter set, but just as sweet. Robin Wilson introduced the band (as if they needed an introduction), "We are Gin Blossoms your favorite band from Tempe, Arizona. We are here tonight to chew bubble gum and kick ass and we are all out of bubble gum." And kick ass they did. The band sounded even stronger than they did way back when and “Allison Road,” “Found Out About You,” and “Hey Jealousy” continue to hold up decades later.

 Thirty-four years in, and Barenaked Ladies still haven’t lost their goofy sense of humor on stage. BNL played quite a few songs off their latest album, Detour de Force including “New Disaster” which opened the set, “Good Life,” “Big Back Yard” and the touching “Live Well,” a song Ed Robertson wrote about his rocky relationship with his father that included an introduction that left quite a few in the crowd with a tear in their eye.

 With such an extensive catalog, it's impossible to play all of their hits - but they did knock out "Pinch Me," "Enid," "Brian Wilson," "One Week," and of course "If I Had $1000000." I saw less green dresses than years past and no macaroni or monopoly money was thrown from the crowd (don't do that BTW - venues hate that), but EVERYONE still knew all the words to the classics and belted them out for all to hear.

Ending the evening was montage of "Sing (Sesame Street) / Just a Friend / Coincidance / Whip It / Whole Lotta Love" - with some very impressive Robert Plant-like pipes, and the fitting encore (after the past few years we all have had) of Traveling Wilburys, "Handle With Care."

 The Last Summer on Earth Tour was worth the wait. And if this is the last summer on earth, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms, and Barenaked Ladies at least showed us a great time! The songs of each of these bands have helped to shape my life in one way or another and I am thankful that I was there to witness The Last Summer on Earth Tour.

Barenaked Ladies

Open Album

Related