Sometimes I wonder where you are, probably in L.A. That seems to be where everybody else ends up these days

Based on my calculations, last Thursday's Fountains of Wayne show was my fourth. Also, it just might have been was the best. The House of Blues (07/03) show a few years ago was...meh. Uninspired, kind of flat, just 'off.' However, we didn't give up. The show at the Wiltern (05/05) was pretty good, much better than the one at HOB at least. Next, they opened for Squeeze at The Greek Theatre (08/07) and were FANTASTIC!

Okay, if you made it this far and have no clue who I'm talking about, you probably heard a FOW song in a holiday ad in 2008. "Valley Winter Song" was used in this L.L. Bean commercial. Ah, yes, now you know who I'm talking about, right? They joked about the ad, as their song is really about how depressing the winter in New England is (I've heard it's about Seasonal Affective Disorder) and now it's supposed to make you want to buy slippers!

This recent appearance was at Largo 2.0* and the 'acoustic' set of their infectious pop songs, in combination with such a kick-ass venue did make it the best yet. I was pretty impressed by the openers, Mike Viola and Kelly Jones, who meshed well with the headliner. I get annoyed when that doesn't happen and the audience doesn't get pumped up for the main act.

The guys were relaxed and quite solid. They treated us to several new tracks, including a "road song" with a line about not singing it as well as Steve Perry (which made me laugh out loud), as well as crowd favorites from their catalog. The slow-tempo version of "Stacy's Mom" that they did was hilarious! A few audience members joined the band on stage to play percussion on "Hey Julie," and they all looked like they were having a blast.

This was the closest I'd been to FOW and I have to admit that it was fun to have such a great view of the talented lead guitarist, Jody Porter. He is an amazing musician, but in some ways seems like he doesn't fit in with the rest of the group. The other guys have sort of a preppy/nerdy/hipster/dorky vibe, whereas Jody is all rock 'n roll and quite quirky. I got the impression he's kind of shy too as he didn't join in the banter until later into the concert. Once he did though, he was pretty funny.

So, as usual, I am now obsessing on Fountains of Wayne and listening to nothing else. This is my typical pattern after seeing a great live show. If my calculations are correct, it will go on for just about the rest of this week.

[Fountains of Wayne @ Largo 1.22.09]

*Largo 2.0 is just my silly nickname for 'Largo at The Coronet.' I miss the original, but the new venue is a great place to see an intimate show.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like good stuff.

The Mad Doctor said...

I think Largo 2.0 sounds better.

Bart said...

Wow, I haven't seen Fountains of Wayne in years. I think the last time was in 1999 when they played the HFStival here in Maryland, and me and the then drummer of my band used to love to tell people that the one guy wrote "That Thing You Do" for the movie of the same name.

But oddly enough, as I was in my workshop earlier today, Pandora queued up "Radiation Vibe" for me. Eerie.

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