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A GOOFY LADIES NIGHT AT SHEA'S

Sometimes I feel like Brian Wilson did.

I want to lie in bed all day. I want to gorge myself up to 300 pounds. And I want to play in the sandbox.

But this is real life, and I can't tolerate such nonsense. So I listen to the Barenaked Ladies.

The boys from Toronto have risen from street buskers to rock stars thanks to songs like "Brian Wilson." They may have reached the heights of the music world, but the band showed Tuesday night in Shea's Performing Arts Center that the entertainment formula remains the same: lots of music, plenty of laughs and a few Kraft dinners.

Rambunctious frontmen Steven Page and Ed Robertson helped the Barenaked Ladies power their way through a two-hour set before a packed house. The Ladies usually play arenas, but they returned to a more intimate venue because this is Buffalo, the first U.S. city where the group had major success.

"It's good to be back at Shea's," Page told the crowd early on. "The last time we were here was in 1996, and we got banned from the building. The people in the balcony were jumping around and dancing so much, it started shaking. So the management didn't want us back."

The old balcony was rocking again as the Barenaked Ladies roared through such numbers as "One Week," "Pinch Me," "Old Apartment" and, of course, "If I Had a $1,000,000." That folky sing-along brought the traditional response from the crowd: people tossing boxes of Kraft dinners at the stage, right on cue.

The fans were almost as goofy as the band, which includes Page and Robertson, along with Jim Creeggan on bass, Kevin Hearn on keyboards and Tyler Stewart on drums.

This was a night when the Bare-naked Ladies offered a medley of Air Supply songs during a soft-rock interlude. The highlights included a dead-on version of "Lost in Love," and "All Out of Love."

Then there was Hearn, hamming it up during a classically influenced and gentle cover of Britney Spears' "Oops! . . . I Did It Again." Robertson, not to be outdone, offered a brief tribute to Angus Young of AC/DC.

The fans joined in the fun.

A woman named Jackie was invited to the stage to display a poster-size photograph of her with Steven Page's parents.

"This is kind of creepy," Page said. "When you're on stage singing rock songs, the last thing you want to see is a blown-up picture of your parents."

It's all part of the show for the Barenaked Ladies.

A new star may have graced the stage at Shea's. Chantal Kreviazuk, already a major force in Canadian music, gave a riveting performance to open the concert.

Kreviazuk's music has a dreamy, graceful and eloquent quality that gently captures an audience. Think Alanis Morissette meets Carole King and you might have something close to Kreviazuk's sound. She was in peak emotional form on such numbers as "Blue," "Far Away" and "Before You."

REVIEW
Barenaked Ladies

Canadian pop band.

Tuesday night in Shea's Performing Arts Center.

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