Barenaked Ladies at Massey Hall

That was quite the night. After watching TFC's thrilling win, I biked to BMO Field to soak in the thrills of victory. Then, to Massey Hall to see the Barenaked Ladies.

With BNL, two things are guaranteed: you'll get great songs and truly funny banter. That banter, which is always crisp and smart, sometimes comes in rap form. It all makes for a dependably fun night.

Put them in Massey Hall and you get the added bonus of the best venue in the city. The acoustics are incredible. Catch a show or two before it shuts down for three years!


This is the first time I've seen them since Steven Page left the band, and it's not quite the same. They still sound great, but here they are performing Brian Wilson. You can't hear Brian Wilson without missing Steven's contributions to the band.

I often joke about my mild 90s Cancon obsession. BNL are right there with The Tragically Hip, Lowest of the Low, Rusty and Skydiggers, only BNL experienced significant success in the USA. Still, they're Toronto boys, and they let you know it. The hometown crowd returned the love all night.

Most of us are old enough to remember when $1,000,000 was a lot of money.

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Comments (27 - click here to join in!)


they've been performing and i keep missing them. i'd love to see them live, and i get what you mean about performances without mr. page - i feel like i'd love to know the drama that led him to get kicked out - i mean a lot of performers do drugs and we find out about it so...

December 10, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

Al The Royal Pain

I saw them at Massey Hall years ago with Page (I believe it was for the Stunt tour). Great band for that great venue. One of my favourite bands as well. I played the mess out of Gordon back in the day.

December 10, 2017 @ 1:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Al The Royal Pain

Me too... the yellow tape and then Gordon.

December 10, 2017 @ 1:41 PM

Urooj Islam

I've jokingly called Ed Robertson one of my favourite rappers for years. He's great and ridiculously talented but let's be honest, Steven Page was the heart and soul of that band.

December 10, 2017 @ 3:22 PM


I wonder if Page and the band will eventually reconcile, like all bands do. I know there's been bad blood and I think even a lawsuit over royalties, but they were better as a unit.

December 10, 2017 @ 5:26 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I sometimes daydream about Steven Page re-joining the band, but I'll bet it never happens. This is not a pleasant breakup between Page and Robertson.

Even last night, Ron Sexsmith opens with a joke referring to himself as Steven Page. Kevin Hearn made a little joke about it, but not a smirk from Ed. Ed won't touch the subject, and yes, Steven has sued Ed for his 20% from the Big Bang Theory song.

BNL playing Brian Wilson without Ed just feels wrong. Yes, it's a BNL song, but that was all Steven's baby. Of course, most of those early hits were Steven's babies...

As solid as BNL is now, they're better with Steven Page.

December 10, 2017 @ 7:51 PM

Urooj Islam

@ Toronto Mike

Who knows? Much more unlikelier musical reunions have happened, For instance, you just went to a GnR show!

if they want to cash in one last time with a big reunion tour and the money is overwhelming, I could see Page returning and Robertson stomaching it.

December 10, 2017 @ 8:11 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Urooj Islam

Except BNL is doing just fine without Page. Heck, their biggest US hits were performed by Robertson anyway, and Massey Hall was sold out last night.

But you're right, never say never....

December 10, 2017 @ 8:27 PM

Teena in Toronto

Wow! It's been a lot of years since I've seen BNL in concert.

December 11, 2017 @ 7:11 AM


I've seen Barenaked Ladies at the Landing Strip a few times.

December 11, 2017 @ 9:49 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's the setlist.

Acoustic Set
Canada Dry
Blame It on Me
The Township of King
Alternative Girlfriend

Main Set
Brian Wilson
Odds Are
Bringing It Home
Invisible Fence
Gonna Walk
The Old Apartment
We Took the Night
Hello City
Lookin' Up
Pinch Me
Big Bang Theory Theme
Jim Creeggan bass solo / Owner of a Lonely Heart
One Week
If I Had $1,000,000
Barenaked Rap
Whole Lotta Love
(Led Zeppelin cover)
Blister in the Sun / Feliz Navidad

December 11, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

James Edgar

I loved the yellow tape but never bought anything else they produced. I like almost anybody playing live music so i'd probably enjoy seeing them but so far i haven't

December 11, 2017 @ 1:30 PM


Ok, I only know a few songs on that set list so maybe I would not enjoy their concert that much... but I am sure they sound amazing!

I saw Amanda Marshall in September and I was sooooo happy - she sounds SO good.

December 11, 2017 @ 1:49 PM


I am a huge BNL fan and have seen them live a couple of times (not since Steve left however). While most of the songs I love sound just fine with Ed only, my personal favorite is "What a Good Boy" and I can't imagine anyone but Steve performing it.....

December 11, 2017 @ 3:26 PM


I liked the original version of If I Had A Million Dollars (the one CFNY played). Their best song is the remake of Lovers in a Dangerous Time. It's one of those rare cases where it's better than the original (with due respect to Bruce C)

December 11, 2017 @ 3:53 PM


The plan for Massey Hall will have it closing for the summer of 2018 until fall of 2020.

It looks good, but Toronto still needs another larger entertainment venue of about 6000 seats, maybe something like Radio City Music Hall.

December 13, 2017 @ 10:28 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


You're right, there's no venue that size that I know of.

Massey Hall is less than 3000, and Roy Thomson Hall is even less. Danforth Music Hall is 1500 or so. So the next size up from Massey Hall is probably the Budweiser Stage.

December 13, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

Ryan G

To each his own, but I've never been a fan of this band. I just don't get the appeal. They seem a little like a gimmicky band that does novelty music, like Weird Al Yankovic.

(scathing criticism for Ryan G's comments in five..four...three..)

Ok not quite Weird Al, but i dunno what it is. I went to high school in Scarborough in the mid 80's around when these guys were starting out and I remember a lot of the suburban white kids just loving this stuff, especially since they were local to our area I suppose.

I'd love for someone to convince me why I should like this band....oh wait nevermind I don't really care. On with your day.

December 13, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G

No doubt, they're a little goofy. A lot of their earlier songs were comedic, so I get the Weird Al vibe.

I personally really loved 'em during the yellow tape days... even that cover of Fell in Love with a McDonald's Girl they used to play on 102.1.

To each his/her own! I still don't get why people like Dave Matthews so much....

December 13, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

Ryan G

@Toronto Mike - agree with you on Dave Matthews.

I remember cfny playing BNL..which annoyed me a bit but i guess they were a)cancon and b) in theory, "alternative". I also wasn't fond of so called cfny bands like Parachute Club either. That lead singer reminded me of Chris Makepeace from Meatballs.

December 13, 2017 @ 10:52 AM


@Ryan G.
Comparing the singer of the Parachute Club to Rudy from Meatballs truly is an insult to the beloved
(formerly) teenage star of My Bodyguard!! No, not really, but pretty surprised that the resident P.C.
police on here haven't yet weighed in on that perhaps unintentional hurtful comment!!!

December 13, 2017 @ 11:47 AM

Ryan G

Dear @Chris Makepeace of @Meatballs and @MyBodyguard and Lorraine Segato of @Parachute Club and @ChrisMakepeaceLookalikeClub

If i inadvertently caused psychological trauma as a result of my comments, I hereby state my indifference to your suffering.

@bsmntdwllr73 - i could be wrong, but i think it's awfully coincidental that you've never seen Makepeace and Segato in the same room together, not to mention, movie, music video or industrial training video....

December 14, 2017 @ 9:40 AM


@Ryan G
Now that I think about it, I can kind of see your point regarding the uncanny physical resemblance
between Chris Makepeace and Lorraine Segato!! Perhaps the former is a male clone of the latter,
or maybe they are secretly related?!? As for the keen observation that you never see the two of them
together at the same time, this would obviously fall under the old coincidence file alongside the
Clark Kent-Superman not-so-secret- identity conundrum!!

December 14, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Lorraine Segato lives on the Toronto island. I might have her on the podcast one day.

December 14, 2017 @ 9:53 AM

Ryan G

@Toronto Mike - see that's weird, because Chris Makepeace lives on the Gilligan's island.

If you do 'cast with Makepe,er...Segato..ask her about the resemblance but make sure you ask the question as if it was coming from yourself and not me..i wouldn't want her to Rise Up, Rise Up on my ass.

December 14, 2017 @ 10:22 AM


@Ryan G
You probably don't have to worry about any Pulp Fiction-style retribution on your posterior, as
I'm sure Lorraine Segato is much too busy counting her loot from Parachute Club's lawsuit against
McCain Foods, regarding improper use of Rise Up!!

December 14, 2017 @ 10:28 AM

Gary M

Mike, I don't think Toronto does need a 6000 seater because everything is more fragmented now and the trend is in the other direction. If anything, Massey Hall has been supplanted by the smaller Danforth Music Hall. If a band can really draw 6K, they can play the Ricoh Coliseum. They can do the ACC with the curtain up that splits the place in half very effectively. They can do a 2 night stand at Massey.

Surprised if anyone would invest in such a project given the real estate cost for a venue that would be dark most of the time.

December 15, 2017 @ 3:51 AM

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