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Barenaked Ladies want to party 'til the end of the world

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, June 10, 2016

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The world has not ended since Barenaked Ladies established its Last Summer On Earth tour a few years ago.

But it's proven to be a popular contingency for the Canadian quartet.

"Yeah, we're not trying to end the world. We're just trying to have a really good party in case it ends on its own," singer-guitarist and co-founder Ed Robertson says by phone from Dayton. But seriously, folks...

"Our goal was really just to make a night where people knew they were going to be entertained and that we were touring wtih acts we knew were good live performers," says Robertson, 45. "It feels really good to know you've got killer acts out with you and people are entertained.

"I remember last year playing at Red Rocks (near Denver). I was sitting there with Brian Ritchie (of the Violent Femmes) watching Colin Hay (from Men at Work) kick off then night. Brian turned to me and said, 'People are really getting their money's worth.' That's a good feeling."

Last year's Last Summer tour -- which yielded the new "BNL Rocks Red Rocks" live album -- threw down a bit of a gauntlet for Robertson and company, however. "There was a bit of trepidation because last summer was of fun and we got along so well with the Femmes and with Colin Hay. It was kind of a perfect tour," Robertson recalls. "We thought, 'Omigod, how are we going to follow that up?'" Fortunately that hasn't been a concern this summer, especially since 80s hitmakters Howard Jones and OMD are personal favorites of the BNL members.

"I covered both of them in my high school band," Robertson notes, adding that multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn even has a tape of his high school band playing OMD's "Secret." And Jones has been joining BNL during its set for a rendition of his smash "No One Is To Blame."

"From day one it's just good vibes out here," Robertson says. "Everybody is thrilled to be touring together. We've really hit it off with these guys."

In addition to the tour, BNL is also starting to gather material for its next studio album, the follow-up to last year's "Silverball." Robertson says a recent trip to Nashville netted "three great songs," while he has two dozen others started. And the rest of the group -- Hearn, bassist Jim Creeggan and drummer Tyler Stewart -- will also have things to bring to the sessions, whenever they wind up starting.

"The best approach is just to write and see what comes of it," Robertson says. "I really feel like the only people I need to impress anymore are the three other guys in my band. I want to keep writing great songs and keep doing good shows, but they're the only people I'm looking to please at this point. We've been around long enough that I feel like we don't have to prove anything to anybody else.

"That's a good feeling, too."

Last Summer On Earth with Barenaked Ladies, Howard Jones and OMD

7 p.m. Friday, June 10.

DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.

Tickets are $28.50-$68.50 pavilion, $25 lawn.

Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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