MusicReview

Barenaked Ladies, Violent Femmes, and Colin Hay: A Nostalgic Night in Photos

Tessa Roy ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Editor

When three iconic acts team up for one tour, their shows are bound to be memorable. Emertainment Monthly had the opportunity to attend the Last Summer on Earth Tour featuring the Barenaked Ladies, the Violent Femmes, and Colin Hay when it stopped at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and it was an experience not to be missed.

Colin Hay

Nicole Simeone / Emertainment Monthly
Nicole Simeone / Emertainment Monthly

Colin Hay, “that guy” from Men at Work as he so addressed himself, took the stage before the pavilion was even close to populated. His small audience and guitar-only approach had all the makings of a boring set – except it wasn’t. Hay’s voice filled the amphitheater with comfort and reminiscence as he sang familiar hits like “Down Under” and “Overkill.” The few people watching him appreciated his friendly persona, laughing as he cracked jokes and gazing intently upon him as he strummed his instrument. Hay smiled through much of his performance and was clearly enjoying himself – his stripped down set proved that sometimes, less really is more.

The Violent Femmes

Nicole Simeone / Emertainment Monthly
Nicole Simeone / Emertainment Monthly

The pavilion was a bit more populated by the time the Violent Femmes hit the stage. They opened with a bang (but ironically, rather anticlimactically) with “Blister in the Sun,” which immediately had people on their feet. The band’s strange chatter and occasional lengthy pauses to readjust instruments were awkward, but the fans were not bothered. They swayed and sang along to every song.

While there were plenty of people on the stage performing, drummer Brian Viglione was putting on a show of his own. While his counterparts stood rather calmly in place, Viglione thrashed about gleefully. He hammered away at his drums as he  flashed impassioned facial expressions and tossed his head back in pure elation. His eccentricity was the standout part of the set.

The Barenaked Ladies

Nicole Simeone / Emertainment Monthly
Nicole Simeone / Emertainment Monthly

The Barenaked Ladies instantly abandoned the minimalistic approach used by their supporting acts, opting for bright, flashing lights to accompany their entrance onto the stage. The beat-synchronized design was well done, bright enough to illuminate the stage without completely blinding the crowd. Barenaked opened with the fiery “Get Back Up” from their latest release Silverball, giving the set an energetic kick.

A few more Silverball tracks like “Duct Tape Heart” were played and subsequently enjoyed, but the crowd’s singing participation soared when Barenaked launched into the old favorites. “If I Had $1,000,000” and “One Week” received by far the best reception – echoes of “But not a real green dress, that’s cruel” and “It’ll still be two days ’till we say we’re sorry” shamelessly engulfed the pavilion.

Barenaked’s sense of humor was also entertaining. The guys bantered about past Beantown gigs, Legal Sea Foods, and Colin Hay’s birthday (“He told me not to mention it!”). They also played a silly montage of very un-Barenaked covers that included Idina Menzel’s “Let it Go,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” (to which frontman Ed Robertson appropriately shook his hips as he moved across the stage).

Most enjoyable, though, was the moment where Colin Hay and Violent Femmes saxophonist Blaise Garza were brought back to the stage to play Men at Work classic “Who Can it Be Now?” Not only did it sound fantastic, but the camaraderie between all three acts proved to be the most memorable spectacle of all.

Check out more dates for The Last Summer on Earth Tour here.

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