Barenaked Ladies attract 80,000 fans

By Josh Wolk
Updated July 14, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Even without full-frontal nudity, the Barenaked Ladies can draw a crowd. Last Monday, 80,000 fans packed Boston’s City Hall plaza to hear a free concert to promote the group’s fifth album, “Stunt,” which was released the next day. Originally planned for a local record store, the show was moved outside when it looked like it might get too big. Even then, only 10,000 people were expected. “We were a little freaked out when we pulled up,” says Steven Page, lead singer of the Toronto-based Ladies. “The cops told us it was the biggest crowd they’d seen since the Celtics won the playoffs in 1986.”

Riding their new single, “One Week” (No. 6 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart), the band is now playing to big crowds on the H.O.R.D.E. festival, which began last Friday in Wisconsin. Sharing the bill with such artists as Blues Traveler and Ben Harper, however, means that not everyone in the crowd is there to see the Ladies. “We see quite a few more bikers than we’re used to seeing at our own shows,” says Page. “Actually, we’re not used to seeing any.” — Josh Wolk