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 Jan. 29, 2015
If you've walked or driven past lately, you've likely seen that work on the Milwaukee Art Museum and War Memorial Center is well underway. Here's an update.
Published Jan. 28, 2015
The fire that destroyed the Metropolitan Block - described as "the equal to any building in the country" - was a sad reality, despite my own foggy memories of it.
Published Jan. 27, 2015
The visionary civil rights leader visited our city to speak on at least two occasions. His comments half a century ago remain as true now as they were then. Here is some of what he told Milwaukeeans.
Published Jan. 26, 2015
Maybe it's just because I love visiting schools, but I always tell prospective parents to go to a school that interests them as a potential option for their children. Sure, read Great Schools' ratings, talk to other parents, Google the school, but if you're going to do one thing only: go to the school. Not sure which school or schools to check out? Then the first step is to visit the MPS All-School Enrollment Fair on Saturday, Jan. 31 at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.
Published Jan. 26, 2015
DNA testing for genealogical purposes can open up new vistas in your self-identity and your self-awareness. We took a test and here's what we learned.
Published Jan. 24, 2015
When Milwaukee's Italian community read the news that a group of Americans - including many prominent city residents - would protest Italian intervention in Spain outside the Italian Consulate in June 1937, it must have awaited the event with at least some trepidation. When the protests took place, everyone - including the picketers themselves - were surprised by what occurred and by the reaction of Milwaukeeans.
Published Jan. 22, 2015
By the 1970s, an ugly addition and the gutting of the deco charm inside left The Edgewater a mere shadow of its original glory on the shores of Lake Mendota. But now, with a new owner, a completely new renovation and a brand new sister building across an inviting plaza, The Edgewater is clearly atop the world of Madison hotels once again.
Published Jan. 20, 2015
If you want to hear more about Dermond Property Investments LLC's plan to develop the site long occupied by Faust Drum Center, 2204 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., and weigh in on it, Ald. Tony Zielinski hosts a town hall meeting on the proposed development on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Bay View Post 180, 2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Published Jan. 20, 2015
The Williams House, 606 E. Homer St., holds special significance - both tragic and joyful - for Beau Walter's pioneering Bay View family.
Published Jan. 19, 2015
Much like a traveling tent show, the Wisconsin Historical Society is moving its new exhibition around the state and this month it's in Milwaukee. "The Wisconsin History Tour: Sharing Wisconsin's Stories One Community at a Time" is on view on the first floor of the Central Milwaukee Public Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., through Jan. 29.