July 21, 2004

Barenaked Ladies & Alanis Rock Tweeter Center

By Randy J. Klodz

The “Au Naturale” Tour hit the Chicago area, giving fans a taste of two of Canada’s most popular artists as Alanis Morissette and Barenaked Ladies rocked the Tweeter Center on July 21.

Following a 25-minute set of piano-driven lounge-style sounds from Nellie McKay, Alanis Morissette took the stage for her own rocking 95-minute set. Morissette, sporting flared yellow pants and a sleeveless brown shirt, quickly paced from side to side of the expansive Tweeter Center stage and tore through a set complete with tracks from her recent album “So-Called Chaos” and her ever popular previous releases.

Morissette opened her set with the high-low rocker “Eight Easy Steps,” the first track from her new album to a late-arriving crowd. After playing the favorites “Hands Clean,” “Are You Still Mad,” “Not the Doctor” and “Head Over Feet,” Morissette finally got the seated pavilion fans to rise to their feet within the introduction to her smash-hit “You Oughta Know.”

After busting out “Hand in My Pocket” and “The Couch,” among other songs, Morissette got creative with lyrics to her popular hit “Ironic.” Lyrics that should read: “It’s meeting the man of my dreams / And meeting his beautiful wife” were changed to “It’s like meeting the man of my dreams / And meeting his beautiful husband,” which sent a chuckle throughout the venue.

Upon returning for an encore performance, members of Barenaked Ladies joined Morissette on stage for a rousing version of “You Learn,” giving fans a taste of what was to come--a stellar full-set by Barenaked Ladies.

Steven Page first graced the stage solo with his acoustic guitar, opening the set with a few bars from the popular song “Brian Wilson.” The rest of Barenaked Ladies--Ed Robertson on vocals/guitar, Jim Creeggan on electric/acoustic bass, Kevin Hearn on keyboards and Tyler Stewart on drums--joined Page, lighting up the stage and finishing up the song.

Always a band to entertain its crowd, Page and Robertson freestyle rapped a song about suburban Tinley Park and the stormy weather the band--and the fans endured prior to the concert. Page also high-kicked and shimmied during songs “Old Apartment,” “Some Fantastic” and “Maybe Katie.”

Barenaked Ladies kept the fun going with a surprise dance number during the song “Shopping,” dancing in sync a la N’SYNC with a combination of four shopping carts and cereal boxes. The cereal boxes, filled with white packing peanuts, emptied and the band ended its dance routine with an overhead camera showing the band making snow angels in the packing peanuts, a routine so fine it would make the creators of “The Drew Carey Show” proud. Robertson mentioned that during each stop of the band’s current summer tour, the band attempts to play a Barenaked Ladies song that has never been performed live. This time around, fans heard the rare “I Can I Will I Do.”

The “Au Naturale” tour with Alanis Morissette is set to end on Aug. 14 when both artists play Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information on Alanis Morissette log on to www.alanis.com and for more information on Barenaked Ladies log on to www.bnlmusic.com.

Barenaked Ladies Photo: Jay Blakesberg