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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Barenaked Ladies

Tonight @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

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Fans of Barenaked Ladies, the Canadian alt-pop quartet that formed in 1988 in Toronto’s Scarborough suburb, may already know that former frontman Steven Page left the band in February to pursue a solo career. But that shouldn’t stop the remaining Ladies—Ed Robertson, Kevin Hearn, Jim Creeggran and Tyler Stewart—from bringing the same humor-laced show that characterized past Barenaked Ladies performances to the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard tonight.

The band is known for its light-hearted, comedic performance style. The Grammy-nominated band, winner of numerous Canadian music awards, also is known for hits like “One Week,” “The Old Apartment,” “If I Had $1000000” and “Brian Wilson,” named after the Beach Boys founder. Wilson became a fan of the song and featured it on a live album. The group’s music has appeared in popular television series, including “Friends” and “King of the Hill,” and Paige even set the words of William Shakespeare to music for Canada’s Stratford Festival’s production of “As You Like It” in 2005.

Page and Robertson are credited with creating the band’s name during a 1988 Bob Dylan concert in Toronto. Bored with the show, the pair pretended to be rock critics, discussing a variety of fictitious bands, including one called “Barenaked Ladies.” Later that same year, Roberston’s own band, which had broken up after promising to play for a Second Harvest food bank benefit concert in Toronto, quickly reformed for the show under the name “Barenaked Ladies.”

The rest, as they say, is alt-pop history.

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