Sixty bucks seemed like a lot to pay for a concert at Celebrate Brooklyn, especially when two bands I like were opening for a band that I didn’t even know was still around. But after I found a friend to come with me, I bit the bullet and bought tickets and we went last Tuesday night (what also happened to be the final night of the tour). 

Let me just say that the Prospect Park Bandshell is sorely I’m need of reorganization. The line to get in was at least a half mile long. It moved quickly but really? A line that long is a total downer when you’re excited for a concert.

Anyway, Guster was first and although we missed most of their set, we were able to hear it and that was cool. We got in to see them do 3 or 4 songs, one of which was Barrel of a Gun (I KNOW) which was the first song I’d ever listened to of Guster’s back in high school so it was exciting to me.

During the set change, we grabbed beers and snagged closer seats in the third row on the left. They were awesome! Ben Folds Five (who are ironically only three) came out and Ben Folds started hitting the keys like the genius he is. At one point I said to my friend “I hope he does Brick!” And a minute later he started playing it (video here)! He also did Army (a request via twitter from a fan who’d just gotten back from overseas), Song For the Dumped (lovvvve), among others. He was fantastic. I had so much fun during his set, as did most everyone in the bandshell.

In between Ben Folds’ set and the Barenaked Ladies, I heard the opening chords for “Amsterdam” and it turns out that Guster was playing another half-set in a tent towards the back of the the bandshell. I grabbed my friend’s hand and ran back. Amsterdam, another one of my favorites, is one I’d never seen live either, so I was ecstatic. They played a few others and then we made our way back to the third row.

I had no idea Barenaked Ladies was still around – or had been around since they had ‘One Week’ in 1999 (right?). It turns out they wrote the theme song for Big Bang Theory, If I Had a Million Dollars, and a bunch of others that I knew. They put on a really great show, which was a relief, considering they were the headliners. Ryan Miller, of Guster, came out and played with them at one point, as did Guster’s drummer, and Ben Folds came out and played with him too. And we all got excited when they performed “One Week,” of course.

It was an expensive concert, but it was four hours long and worth every penny. It was a good, good night. 

 

Last Friday as part of the weekly concert series “Celebrate Brooklyn!” in Park Slope, Ted Leo (of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists) made his way to Prospect Park to open the show.  I try to catch Ted Leo in concert whenever he’s performing in the city, and when it’s free? That’s even better. He was playing by himself, and had “only 40 minutes and a load of songs,” as he put it, to which we all cheered. 

He loves his stage banter and had a really hard time not talking in between songs (his words, not mine), but he was able to make it through a ten song setlist. He played two of my favorites of his The High Party and Me and Mia, amongst other fan favorites like Timorous Me, Bottled in Cork, The Little Smug Supper Club, and Bleeding Powers. He played a couple of new songs too, always prefacing them with, “I just finished this one last night, so… Yeah!" 

And they were always fantastic.

The forty minute set was certainly worth the thirty-five minute train ride. The ride home took approximately thirteen Ted Leo songs. A good time indeed.

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