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 Sept. 18, 2014
Perhaps no Milwaukee historical landmark has suffered more indignity than the replica of the early home of founder Solomon Juneau. After being sealed to the public for decades, we got a peek inside.
Published Sept. 18, 2014
Back in spring, I posted some photo outtakes from my wanderings around town and you seemed to enjoy them. So, here are five more from the archive.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Though the exhibition was a small one, Milwaukee photographer Kevin Miyazaki's "Perimeter" show at the Haggerty Museum was one of the highlights of the local arts scene in 2013. Now, the project is showcased in a hardcover book -- officially launched with an event on Wednesday, Sept. 17 -- and we caught up with Miyazaki to ask him about the inspiration for and the perspiration of creating this unmatched exploration of Lake Michigan and its diverse users.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Decades after the break-up of The Rascals, Felix Cavaliere is still performing. We caught up with him before he arrives in Milwaukee this week for a gig at the Northern Lights Theater.
Published Sept. 15, 2014
There are few events more exciting for me than Doors Open Milwaukee, which takes place this coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, as dozens of locations around town as venues of all kinds swing open their doors to let Milwaukeeans see inside. There are churches, schools, office buildings, historic sites and much more.Here are six you won't want to miss!
Published Sept. 13, 2014
Like you, we love the Klement's Racing Sausages. But, the other day, while gazing down at the figures on a T-shirt celebrating 20 years of sal-seech, I wondered if a few of them couldn't use a bit of a makeover and if the time is ripe for a sixth member of the meat-grinder gang.
Published Sept. 10, 2014
Once upon a time, The Modjeska Theater, 1134 W. Mitchell St., was a neighborhood movie palace, the big daddy of Mitchell Street, the second busiest thoroughfare in Milwaukee after Wisconsin Avenue. Now, after four dormant years, and decades after it ended its run as a movie house, Mitchell Street Development Opportunity Corporation is cleaning it up, with an eye toward re-opening in spring with a mix of movies, concerts and other live performances.
Published Sept. 9, 2014
I love finding bits of Milwaukee history and now more than ever they're easy to find online.
Published Sept. 8, 2014
Madison's non-partisan Forward Institute released a report Monday that looked at education funding across the state of Wisconsin and found that over the past decade increasing poverty, deep education cuts, voucher expansion, the economic recession and growing rates of bilingual and special needs enrollment have led to a system that fuels funding and opportunity gaps among Wisconsin students and communities.
Published Sept. 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, I looked at missed opportunities, ugly spaces and other problem spots east of the river. This time, I go west.