Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Its A Radiation Vibe Im Groovin’ On

Posted by xneverwherex on August 4, 2011

Fountains of Wayne
Nicole Atkins
8/3/11
Bowery Ballroom

Fountains of Wayne just might be the greatest power-pop band ever. Adam, Chris, Jody and Brian come (back) home bearing gifts of some of the most fun pop songs ever written. Theyre catchy, clever and Jody’s guitar drives those songs. The guitars on ‘Denise’ simply brilliant. Besides, these days its not too often that a guitarist has enough swaggart to pull out a cigarette and start smoking on stage while still playing and drinking. That is, until Adam comes by and then bam, no more cigarette.

While their lyrics may be beyond cheesy and simple, they no doubt stay with you and you find yourself singing them long after the show is finished. Its hard not to be smiling the entire show. The band undoubtedly is having as great a time as the crowd. Chris tells stories about Japan, a 36 hour trip (or maybe that was rest) and drunken nights in Japan. Whatever the story is, it always sounds like a good time.

FoW played a great mix of their music and included a handful of songs off their new album which definitely has a more country flair to it. But they never seem to lose their pop melodies that they succeed in. Most of their songs are accompanied by crowd sing-alongs or crowd members hand selected to join the band on percussions on ‘Hey Julie’. Its no doubt that the crowd (which skews to an older-ish crowd) is still yearning for their early music. Random people are heard to be yelling ‘Red Dragon Tattoo’, which sadly they did not play. But with their abundance of awesome songs, its hard to get everything you wanted played.

Of course, no Fountains of Wayne show would be complete without the hugely popular ‘Stacy’s Mom’ . Not appearing on the setlist, it showed up as an encore and had everyone dancing and singing along. And each time I hear ‘Radiation Vibe’ Im convinced it will never sound better. And last night might have been the coolest mix – as at the end they went into a Peter Frampton song, followed by Tears For Fears ‘Mad World’ and then one last 70s song. Of course the last song, was horribly botched with Adam forgetting the words and them kinda making them up. Regardless whatever they do, always seems to be fun and awesome. The medley was awesome especially as it segued back into ‘Radiation Vibe’. Few bands can pull it off, but when they do, it can work wonders.

Perhaps, following in the steps of Matthew Sweet, they will do a tour for Utopia Parkway. That would be quite awesome!

Supporting act: Nicole Atkins sounded as great as ever. She has amazing vocals and kept it simple with her and her friend Serena? who was accompanying her on bass. It was even just as nice when it was just Nicole and her acoustic guitar. I always forget how much I like her, shes chill and laid back and just goes with it. Ill make sure next time shes around, I check her out. Thankfully shes from around her, so that should not be a problem.

If youve yet to see FoW, you really should. It can make any day that much better. Besides, they might just have some of the coolest fans ever.

Setlist:
Little Red Light
Valley of Malls
Summer Place
Someone to Love
Barbara H
Richie and Ruben
A Road Song
Valley Winter Song
Fire in the Canyon
Hey Julie
A Dip in the Ocean
Denise
Mexican Wine
Radiation Vibe (medley: Peter Frampton ‘Do You Feel Like We Do’, Tears for Fears ‘Mad World’, Blue Oyster Cult ‘Burnin’ For You’ )

Encore:
Stacy’s Mom
I-95
Cemetery Guns
Joe Rey
Sink

(encore might be off)

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