The song selection was delectable, the offbeat sense of humor seemed to be fully intact and overall, it was just nice to have Fountains of Wayne back in Cleveland.
I thought it was 2009...but no, it was 2007 that was the year of my last Fountains of Wayne encounter. There were two great encounters that year in fact, one of them being a performance at the Virgin Festival that found me seeing FOW and Cheap Trick back to back. Now that's an awesome day.
Since then, there have been road trip worthy shows that I've missed, including the mouth watering acoustic tour (damn! damn! damn! I should have gone!) and finally a new album this year, the crowd pleasing Sky Full of Holes.
As is the case with any Fountains of Wayne album, you develop favorites and a hit list of songs both old and new that you hope they might play live.
When they came to the Beachland Ballroom on Tuesday night (with frontman Chris Collingwood wearing a trucker's hat, looking somewhat like he'd wandered in straight from a hunting expedition), they did a pretty good job of covering the bases with a setlist that served up a choice selection of songs from the new album ("a fairly recent release by our standards," they quipped from the stage) and some great deep cuts and favorites from the back catalog.
If you've heard "Hate To See You Like This," you'll appreciate the humorous mismatch of the venue disco ball that they chose to feature during the song. Or depending on your point of view, perhaps it was completely appropriate.
As Girlfriend Annie said, they just need to rock out the classic rock covers album and get it out of the way - the mid-song medley of rock classics in the middle of "Radiation Vibe" was an extremely convincing argument in favor of such a project - we think they'd knock it out of the park. [Honorable mention to bassist Adam Schlesinger who pulls off an awfully convincing Frampton lead vocal when he's not helping to co-write awesome power pop songs.]
The setlists have been fairly fluid with songs rotating in and out, so if your favorites aren't present here, there's a good chance that they still might pull it out on an upcoming night when the tour hits your city.
It's a show not to be missed.
Little Red Light
Someone To Love
Red Dragon Tattoo
Leave The Biker
No Better Place
The Summer Place
Richie and Ruben
Fire In The Canyon
A Dip In The Ocean
Hate To See You Like This
Radiation Vibe (with excerpts from: Everybody Wants Some (Billy Squier), Double Vision (Foreigner), Jet (Wings), Do You Feel Like We Do (Peter Frampton), Twilight Zone (Golden Earring), White Wedding (Billy Idol)
Sink To The Bottom
(80 minute set)