Fountains of Wayne
Oct. 13, 2011
When I told my friends I was going to a Fountains of Wayne show, I was met almost universally with the same reaction: "Wait, the 'Stacy's Mom' guys? They're still touring?" But despite the fact they may have somewhat faded from the limelight, these guys still commanded the stage and managed to transport the crowd back in time a few years when I checked out their set at the Troubadour last night.
In an untucked shirt and loose tie, Fountains of Wayne front man Chris Collingwood looked like he had seen better days (specifically, the early 2000s), but proceeded to blast through his appearances with a good combination of songs off their new record, Sky Full of Holes, and classics off their past records.
Through some slurred vocals, the hits of the night came through brilliantly; opener "Little Red Light" got their set started on a high note, immediately reminding all of their fans what the music scene in 2003 was like. The night went on sprinkled with other songs off 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers, including "No Better Place," "Valley Winter Song" (Collingwood: "This song's about something you guys have no experience with: winter") and "Mexican Wine." For "Hey Julie," the band brought three audience members onto the stage for some light percussion work (maracas, shaker), and practically everyone on the floor shouted the lyrics, almost overpowering the band's sound every time the chorus came around.
"Hackensack" was surprisingly missing from the night, as was "Bright Future In Sales," but hey, maybe I just really like Welcome Interstate Managers. Oh, well.
On that note, though they played the most songs that night off the aforementioned beloved 2003 album, Fountains also got warm receptions for songs from Sky Full of Holes and even bigger cheers for those off their self-titled album.
The real show-stopper (literally, as it was the last song before the encore break) was "Radiation Vibe" from their self-titled record; it was given special treatment in an amazing multitrack medley (Collingwood, just before diving back into the end of "Vibe": "Yeah, enough of that shit").
Fountains of Wayne brought up opener Mike Viola(!) for "Fire In the Canyon," the first song in the encore, and rounded the night off with "Stacy's Mom" (I mean, they kinda had to) and "Sink to the Bottom."
If the Troubadour show was any kind of sign as to how the Coach House show's going to be, expect a good dose of nostalgia; if you're like myself and have fond memories of a past obsession upon hearing the name Fountains of Wayne, you'll be delightfully reverted back to your early-2000s self within the first few songs of the set.
Critic's Bias: I was a hormonal little adolescent when Welcome Interstate Managers came out, so "Stacy's Mom" wasn't as much of a funny juvenile song as it was my entire teenage mentality.
The Crowd: People who were freshmen in college for Fountains of Wayne's 1999 self-titled set and seniors for Welcome Interstate Managers, and two teenage girls who probably hadn't even been born yet when either album had hit the shelves.
Overheard In the Crowd:
"It's fuckin' Grimace playing the drums tonight."
"This band is like a post-colonialist commentary on my dick."
"It's a sing-along song!"
Random Notebook Dump: After the concert, my buddy and I drove to Lucky Boy in Pasadena for some breakfast burritos and ran into some people we were standing next to in the crowd at the show. No words were exchanged, but they knew what was up.
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Setlist at the Troubadour:
"Little Red Light"
"I've Got a Flair"
"Someone to Love"
"No Better Place"
"Richie and Ruben"
"Valley Winter Song"
"A Road Song"
"A Dip In the Ocean"
"Hate to See You Like This"
"Red Dragon Tattoo"
"Radiation Vibe (medley)"
"Fire In the Canyon"
Fountains of Wayne will be playing at the Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, tonight at 6 p.m.