Venue

Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five and Guster at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (photos, review)

The “Last Summer on Earth Tour” stopped at Red Rocks Amphitheater Wednesday night featuring a trio of ’90s bands known for their quirky song writing and nerdatious style. (It’s a word. Pinterest said so.)

Geeks with guitars and Canadian to boot, 2013 marks the Barenaked Ladies‘ 25th year of being a band. So why not celebrate by calling up some other geek friends and go on tour?

 

Guster kicked off the night with their harmonies and focus on percussion. An impressive Brian Rosenworcel works over a set of bongos and cymbals — all with the palms of his hands.

Highlights from Guster’s set include “Barrel Of A Gun,” “Demons” and the newer song, “This Could All Be Yours Someday.” The band got their “aha” moment when playing their 2006 hit “Satellite.” Most of the crowd’s reaction was, “Oh! This is the band that plays that song? I thought it was Postal Service.”

Ben Folds took the stage next for a night of nostalgia and nerds. Recently reuniting with his two band mates, Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee, the trio make up Ben Folds Five. Confusing name, but a big sound for just three guys.

With little excitement around the band’s 2012 album, the audience didn’t give much of a reaction to newer material. So, when Ben Folds Five finally played songs from 1997’s “Whatever and Ever Amen,” things started to click for the crowd. After all, anyone who came out for this billing is looking for ’90s hits. A good 50 people out of around 7,000 rose to their feet and sang along to “Brick,” “Kate” and quite possibly the greatest break up song ever written, “Song for the Dumped.”

The Barenaked Ladies rounded out the night as the gracious hosts of the evening. Their 16 song set included radio hits “Pinch Me,” “Brian Wilson,” “The Old Apartment” and “One Week.”

Fans seemed disappointed in the band for leaving off  1992’s one-track radio single “If I Had a Million Dollars.” All was forgiven and forgotten when everyone joined in to sing the theme song to the popular nerd TV show “Big Bang Theory.”

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Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.