Friday, September 19th, 2003
Woe is he who forgets his earplugs at home on concert night. Woe, I say.
It was an interesting crowd at the ‘Shoe Thursday night for the MIX99.9 presentation of Fountains Of Wayne. Their bona-fide radio hit “Stacy’s Mom” ensured a solid mix of younger indie/power-pop afficianados and older Top-40 listening radio contest winners (and yes, a good portion of the crowd were contest winners). Regardless of demographic, it was a packed house for FOW’s first Toronto appearance in too many years.
After an introduction by a clueless radio personality (I defy you to name the album you say is “soooo great”), FOW took the stage and opened with “Bought For A Song” and followed up with a solid hour of blasting would-have-been-hits-in-a-perfect-world power pop. Singer/guitarist Chris Collingwood was an amiable frontman, with bassist and co-songwriter extraordinaire Adam Schlesinger content to stay in the shadows for the most part (literally – it was nearly impossible to get a properly lit photo). Lead guitarist Jody Porter let rip classic rock-inspired solos and riffing at every opportunity, sometimes at odds with the simpler pop structures of the material but never to the point of derailing them. Second-to-last closer “Radiation Vibe” got a dose of the time-honoured cover song medley arrangement in the outro, including a verse of “How Soon Is Now”. Two encores later, they closed things off for good with Porter throwing his lovely Gibson ES-335 into the drum kit. Ack. Ack.
A very good show, if a little loud for the earplug-less. Props to the band for playing “Stacy’s Mom” in the middle of the set and refusing to acknowledge any one-hit wonder-ness, and props to the audience for mostly sticking around and enjoying the show even after they heard “the hit”. And props to everyone for the early start time and letting me get home by midnight.
Photos were tougher to take last night as I couldn’t get closer than five or six rows back until the encore and one shot looked an awful lot like the other – no one but Jody really moved around too much.
np – The American Analog Set / Know By Heart