3 90s alternative rock bands cover 80s supergroup Traveling Wilburys
One of the funniest packages of 2022 for ’90s alt-rock fans has Barenaked Ladies hitting the road with Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket. And if bringing the three groups together on a single poster is not enough, imagine that the three groups are found on a single song. That’s what happened, as Barenaked Ladies recently closed out their set by forming a giant supergroup to cover one of the most iconic supergroups of the 80s.
“What you’re about to witness a new supergroup,” exclaimed Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson, while welcoming members of the other two bands to the stage. Fittingly, the great collective covered the Traveling Wilburys’ 1988 classic, “Handle With Care,” which featured legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musicians George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.
Robertson handles Harrison’s front lines, before giving way to Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips to complete Harrison’s opening stanza. Next, Robin Wilson of Gin Blossoms, also playing tambourine, covered Roy Orbison’s memorable hook. The entire onstage collective sang the “pushed” parts of Petty and Dylan, and fans were invited to sing along as coverage wrapped up the night at the tour’s stop in Morrison, Colorado, at Red Rocks on June 21. The fan-taken video can be viewed below.
“Handle With Care” reached No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock charts in 1988, launching the first volume of the all-star band’s two-album career. The collective’s career was cut short with the death of Roy Orbison in December 1988. The group’s first album, The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group in 1990.
Barenaked Ladies had a string of hit albums in the 90s and early 2000s, breaking out with the single “One Week” from their 1998 album. To delay. Gin Blossoms also flourished in the 90s with their New miserable experience and Congratulations I’m sorry albums, while Toad the Wet Sprocket were mainstays of alt-rock radio throughout the decade with songs from their To fear, Duclinea and Reel scrapbooks.
“The Last Summer on Earth” tour with Barenaked Ladies, Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket continues through July. Get your ticketing information here.