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Barenaked Ladies coming to Deadwood

  • May 9, 2017

For their latest run of tour dates, including a gig at the Deadwood Mountain Grand this week, the Barenaked Ladies won’t have a new studio album to support.

The group, though, does have a new release, a concert DVD/CD called “BNL Rocks Red Rocks,” which was recorded on the 2015 “Last Summer on Earth” tour at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The release of “BNL Rocks Red Rocks” has caused the popular Canadian band to realize some significant changes were in order to keep their live show fresh this spring.

“We’re very aware that we’re putting out a record that’s very indicative of the vibe of the last tour,” singer/guitarist Ed Robertson said in a recent phone interview. “So this time around, we really want to change up the show, play a bunch of songs we haven’t been playing in awhile. We’re actually going to start the night with an acoustic set, which we haven’t ever done. So we’re going to be stripped down right at the front of the stage and play three or four songs in a stripped down setting before we go full-on rock show.

“So it’s going to be fun, and we’ve sort of come up with an interesting set list that features some songs that we haven’t been playing often, but also allows for four slots every night where we’ve brought in a new song, so that there’s a constant rotation in the set,” he said. “We’re always learning new songs every day at sound check. So every show that we play will be slightly different."

The Barenaked Ladies certainly have a deep enough song catalog to change up its set list periodically over the course of a tour.

Formed in 1988 in Toronto, the group enjoyed major popularity with a string of three hit albums – 1998’s “Stunt” (which included the hits, “One Week” and “It’s All Been Done”) followed by “Maroon” (2001) and “Everything To Everyone” (2004).

But then came a challenging period. In July 2008, singer/guitarist Steven Page was arrested on cocaine charges. The band supported Page through his travails and his charges were later reduced to a misdemeanor and then dropped in April 2009 after he fulfilled conditions of his plea agreement.

Page, though, ended up splitting from the band – leaving Robertson, who had shared most of the songwriting duties with Page, as the primary songwriter. The group, which also includes bassist Jim Creeggan, keyboardist/guitarist Kevin Hearn and drummer Tyler Stewart, also has seen Hearn go through two separate bouts with cancer, which is now in remission.

The band, though, has persevered, settling into life as a four-piece band and releasing three solid studio albums – “All In Good Time,” “Grinning Streak” (2013) and “Silverball” (2015). The latter album was made right before Hearn began treatment for his recurrence of cancer.

Following up “Silverball” with a live release was actually not on the Barenaked Ladies’ agenda when plans were made for the 2015 tour. But that changed with some help from AXS Television.

“We had AXS Television come to us and say ‘Hey, we want to do a special with you guys,’” Robertson said. “It all just kind of fell into place and Red Rocks is such an iconic venue, it just seemed like a great, we felt like the band was really playing great and it was a good opportunity to record.