Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson. See more of Kirsten’s photos from this show here.
When the crowd in front of the stage – penned in by metal barricades under an unseasonably hot sun – started chanting “Stacy’s Mom” during Fountains of Wayne’s headlining Saturday afternoon set on Day One of Albany’s Tulip Festival, frontman Chris Collingwood shrugged off the group request and played the effervescent, but lesser-known, “Mexican Wine” instead.
“This is a song about drinking,” he announced before the song to disappointed silence. It was possibly the first time in history that such a statement has fallen flat on an outdoor festival audience in a park littered with empty plastic cups.
Yes, the crowd came to hear Fountains of Wayne’s hit single, “Stacy’s Mom,” from their all-around excellent 2003 album, “Welcome Interstate Managers.” But they had to sit through lots of smart, supremely catchy pop first.
From “Welcome Interstate Managers,” the quartet – featuring guitarist/singer Collingwood, bassist Adam Schlesinger, drummer Brian Young and guitarist Jody Porter – played bittersweet beauties like “No Better Place,” “Little Red Light” and “Hackensack,” a song recently covered by Katy Perry.
From last year’s under-rated “Sky Full of Holes” album, there was a pair of sparkling, weather-appropriate tunes: “The Summer Place” and “A Dip in the Ocean.” And the band hit upon several tracks from their self-titled debut, including the memorable “Leave the Biker” and “Radiation Vibe.”
If songs filled with adult problems – like those of the paper-pushing desk jockeys who narrate “Hey Julie” and “Bright Future in Sales” – went over the heads of the predominantly young crowd, Fountains of Wayne played along, finding plenty of reasons to joke about being on a stage surrounded by sausage stands and curly-fry booths.
They turned “Radiation Vibe” into an extended medley of sun-baked ‘70s riffs, from Wings’ “Jet” to Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do.” They pulled three fans onstage to shake maracas during “Hey Julie” and then jokingly mocked their percussive abilities afterward. And they left the stage with no encore after playing one song past their biggest hit. But it didn’t matter – the crowd had started streaming out as soon as “Stacy’s Mom” was over anyway.
Greg Haymes’ review at The Times Union
Greg Haymes’ review and Stanley Johnson’s photographs from the rest of the Albany Tulip Festival at Nippertown
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE SET LIST
I’ve Got a Flair
Little Red Light
Someone to Love
Red Dragon Tattoo
No Better Place
The Summer Place
Richie and Ruben
A Dip in the Ocean
Leave the Biker
It Must Be Summer
Radiation Vibe > rock medley (Billy Squier/Foreigner/Wings/Billy Idol/Peter Frampton) > Radiation Vibe
Bright Future in Sales
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