Barenaked Ladies

Canadian quintet Barenaked Ladies has yet to achieve the broad success in the U.S. that the band enjoys north of the border, but the group does have a rabid underground following here that goes wild for its inventive mix of quirky songwriting, top-notch musicianship and nod-and-a-wink humor.

With:
Band: Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Andrew Creeggan, Tyler Stewart.

Canadian quintet Barenaked Ladies has yet to achieve the broad success in the U.S. that the band enjoys north of the border, but the group does have a rabid underground following here that goes wild for its inventive mix of quirky songwriting, top-notch musicianship and nod-and-a-wink humor.

At the near-capacity Wadsworth Theater Thursday, the Sire/Reprise act put on an animated concert that was impressive on a number of levels.

The five members of the band, all in their 20s, split their time during the nearly two-hour show between impressive instrumental workouts, catchy hook-filled pop numbers and bouts of post-song frivolity that had the gathered faithful rolling in the aisles.

The music, mostly taken from the band’s two albums, sprinted from Beatles-esque songs of unrequited love to progressive-rock derbies; from odes to girl bands and fruit-as-gift to slights of singers Huey Lewis and Howard Jones — all without missing a beat.

Not much to look at (don’t expect this bunch on MTV anytime soon, unfortunately), the charming, fully clothed guys in Barenaked Ladies rely on talent, wit and a penchant for instinctual entertainment, qualities that regrettably don’t always lead to success in the fickle, trend-dominated world of pop music.

Barenaked Ladies

(Wadsworth Theater; 1,378 seats; $ 18.50 top)

Production: Promoted by Avalon & UCLA CFPA. Reviewed Feb. 23, 1995.

Cast: Band: Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Andrew Creeggan, Tyler Stewart.

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