You may not know this about me, but I'm a huge Barenaked Ladies fan. Been a fan since way before I moved to Austin, way before I became the avid music fan I have since become. I saw them first back in 1992, when the Oxford, OH indie station WOXY or what was then known as 97X had their 10th anniversary party (it was a great thing when WOXY decided to relocate to Austin back in Sept.!). BNL played the show along with Too Much Joy and Royal Crescent Mob. Ah, good times. After that, I saw BNL any time they came around, eventually getting to meet and befriend the band, having many wonderful experiences with them over the years. I think I saw them 65 times in 3 years. Wow! But, after the turn of the millenium, I was in grad school, and my touring ways ended. I still see them when they are local, which is infrequent. And, this past year presented a lot of turmoil and change for the band, culminating in lead singer Steven Page leaving the group. That was a sad day for me and many BNL fans. But, the rest are forging on as BNL and Steve will go solo. I had been dying to see them just to register my support and confidence. So, I was delighted when a San Antonio gig popped up on their schedule. It was really like old times to see them in a smaller venue. Granted, it was weird seeing them for the first time without Steve. There was definitely magic in the combination of Steve's amazing vocals, Ed's rootsy voice and acoustic guitar and the amazing musicianship of the rest of the band. The humor was still there, they are all hysterical Canadian boys. But I will miss the unique chemistry between Steve and Ed as they riffed on the day or came up with spontaneous ditties. But, things change, and we must accept. I'm happy for the new beginnings! And, I'm also happy for old friends, because another of the early BNL fans, Jenn Wade, who I have managed to keep in touch with over the years, met me at the show. It was fun reminiscing with her!
In addition, it was also delightful to know that Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra was on the bill. I love him. Great voice, and as a solo artist, one can really appreciate his craft. Excellent delivery, stage presence, and he is an excellent guitarist. I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present than this show.
Ingrid Michaelson and Ed Roland of Collective Soul rounded out the great night of music.
The amazing Kevin Griffin. Please check him out sometime. So great.
The drummer is some guy from the crowd, named Roman. He completely owned it!
Ed Roland of Collective Soul continued the musician recruiting getting musicians from the crowd. He recruited an entire band. And, even though it took a while to get underway, it actually wasn't all that bad.
They closed with a scaled down version of the rap and dance they used to perform at every show. It was a nice, nostalgic touch!