I am going to go way back here. Long, long ago in a lifetime mostly forgotten I was a young girl out with friends for an evening of music and fun. I was in Richmond Hill at the Mill Pond and a new local band was playing at the weekly free concerts that regularly played adult contemporary, blues, classical or whatever else they thought might interest the masses. I did not attend any of those other concerts, but this particular one featured a band by the name of Bare Naked Ladies. They would gain fame, fortune and even questionable notoriety for their band's title from local levels of government in the years to come. On this particular night, I reveled in their whimsy, energy and overall spunky fun that they exhibited on stage. That was almost twenty years ago, if I recollect, as I remember spying a girl from high school that I recognized, but had not befriended just yet. We have since had many adventures together, including a trip across the continent last summer and most recently our trip to Toronto. We have even seen BNL together at other concerts (Molson Amphitheater God knows when - my 20s?). Always lots of fun and energy. Always a good night out.
So anyways, last night I had the pleasure of seeing the Ladies again. I have had many transformations of me since seeing them the first time so many years ago, but to be fair, so have they. I was interested to see how they would sound and look with the recent departure of Steven Page from the band. I have had a chance to listen to their recent album All in Good Time and have enjoyed it. "You Run Away" is the first single as their reincarnation of a four-piece band and it is heartfelt. I am touched. It seems to be the catharsis for some of the growing pains they have gone through. They have had a very difficult period of time thrown at them on many levels, but you get the feel that they will survive, altered, but still moving forward.
For myself, the concert was enjoyable. I got to go out for that rare evening away from children. A good friend and I set the mood with dinner and drinks, then scurried down the street to collect our tickets. We slid into our seats with Joel Plaskett singing away on stage accompanied by Peter Elkas. He won a Juno last night, so was in fine spirit. He left the stage to applause and after a brief intermission the Ladies emerged. They played songs old and new with a style that seems to be emerging to find its new face. While I pined for the old-familiar bounce that used to be a mainstay of their sets, I realized that the days of Steven Page were done. His vocals were missed, as some notes were just not on, but the crowd seemed to enjoy the show none-the-less. During "Pinch Me" underwear littered the stage to the joy of many. Laughter filled the JLC and smiles reigned supreme. As we left, we reflected that they were still a great and fun-loving band, but that the years to come would probably see a transformation of their music and energy. Keep on rocking Ladies! You do yourself proud.