Adam Schlesinger, bassist for East Coast power pop quartet Fountains of Wayne, who played Summerfest on Wednesday night, told the crowd, "I think we get invited back (to the festival) because we have a lot songs about summer."
That could be true. It could also be the catchy melodies and the quirky, witty lyrics that come together in the well-crafted songs penned by Schlesinger and singer/guitarst Chris Collingwood, and the classic infectious rock and roll sound rooted in the British Invasion bands of the 1960s.
After the sparsely attended headlining performance on the Rock Stage, it seems unlikely the band will be invited back solely for its drawing power.
Though, to be fair, the competition was strong Wednesday with David Gray, Ziggy Marley, 311 and Galactic all playing stages at the same hour.
However, the modest crowd didn't stop the band playing a solid set of material from across its five studio albums, with a bit of a focus on the latest, "Sky Full of Holes." Opening with "Little Red Light," from 2003's "Welcome Interstate Managers," FOW followed with "Someone to Love" from 2007's "Traffic and Weather," "Survival Car," from their self-titled 1996 debut, "Mexican Wine," (again from "Welcome Interstate Managers"), and "Denise," from 1999's "Utopia Parkway.
There was a bit of lull now and again -- "Hate to See You Like This" from the new record springs to mind -- but for the most part, the roughly 80-minute show was upbeat, with a bout of audience participation during "Hey Julie" that forced Schlesinger to do a little cat-herding to keep a boisterous fan in check while on stage.
Last time I saw Fountains of Wayne at the Big Gig was in the wake of the release of 1999's "Utopia Parkway." In the meantime, three more records have arrived, plus a double-disc of b-sides and rarities. But one really big thing happened to FOW in the intervening years and that thing was called "Stacy's Mom."
Fans and the Fountains had to endure repeated calls for the big hit after most every song, and, of course, Fountains of Wayne played it, saving it (natch) for the encore. Once the final note rang out, scores headed for the exit, while devotees hung around to hear one more song, a rousing version of "Sink to the Bottom."
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published March 30, 2015
How is the art museum choreographing its complicated renovation and expansion? Read on to find out.
Published March 27, 2015
Milwaukee's Chalice in the Palace breathes some life into the city's wanting reggae music scene with regular record spins featuring a wide variety of Jamaican sounds at area clubs.
Published March 26, 2015
I was a little disappointed the first time I stepped into Henry Koch's 1870 Calvary Presbyterian Church - that soaring red building on 10th and Wisconsin. The sanctuary has been completed remodeled and modernized. The pews are gone, replaced by stacks of movable chairs. The wooden chancel isn't ornately adorned as one might expect in a 150-year-old church, and the new hardwood floors gleam rather than creak with accumulated history. But, then, Pastor Mark McDonough converted me.
Published March 25, 2015
In all of the discussions of the siting of a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the discussion has been about connecting to Wisconsin Avenue and points south of the current Bradley Center. But, let's not ignore the other side.
Published March 25, 2015
In recent years, Milwaukee Public Library has been building for the future, replacing aged branches with mixed-use developments that ensure the libraries will be community fixtures for years to come. For its next project, MPL is moving the Forest Home branch into the future by reviving an old South Side neighborhood gem.
Published March 20, 2015
Scattered around the Milwaukee area are roughly two dozen eye-catching stone cottages that look like they could've been moved from Normandy. But, you might be surprised to learn they were designed by a New York architect who also designed the Big Apple's Singer Building, a 47-story skyscraper that was, for three years, the tallest building in the world.
Published March 18, 2015
Old newspaper ads for Milwaukee clubs open a world of unwritten history.
Published March 18, 2015
Dosing its rootsy rock and roll with a shot of country and etheral, melodic pop Milwaukee's Great Lake Drifters have created a sound that is difficult to pin down. With a brand new CD, " Radio Picture Show," the band takes part in this weekend's Equinox Music Festival at Linneman's in Riverwest. We chatted with a couple of the band's members about GLD, about "Radio Picture Show" and about Equinox.
Published March 17, 2015
Nine unforgettable places to rent some shoes in Brew City.
Published March 16, 2015
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver is one of nearly a dozen leaders of urban school districts headed to the White House this morning to meet with President Barack Obama as part of the Council of the Great City Schools' three-day annual legislative/policy conference in Washington.