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.
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.