I owe my love of Fountains of Wayne to a decision to go to Wendy’s. I was sitting in a booth, enjoying a late lunch one day, when “Hey Julie” came on the PA. Immediately taken with the song, I got back to my office, Googled the song lyrics and realized…I already owned it. “Welcome Interstate Managers”, the band’s third album, had found it’s way into my record collection several months before, and I’d never given it a truly thorough listen. MY BAD.

Needless to say, i went home that night and listened to the album. And listened again. And again. Not long after, I went out and bought the first two FoW albums. I was an official fan. Which makes me wonder-do F0W superfans look down on me more because I totally ignored “Stacy’s Mom” when that was a hit and didn’t become a fan until AFTER? There’s something for y’all to ponder.

Anyhow, I’d missed them live once or twice since then, so when I found out they were doing a show in Boston this year, I jumped at the chance to get a ticket. I definitely got my $20 worth. The band played an 80-minute set chock full of singalong songs, taking just about equal amounts of material from each of their four studio albums. They also played a significant amount of new material, earmarked for an album that will hopefully see the light of day soon.

The guys appeared to be loose and relaxed. Lead singer Chris Collingwood and bassist/keyboardist Adam Schlesinger traded cracks while guitarist Jody Porter gave the band a little rockin’ coolness by busting out a full arsenal of rock moves-even doing the windmill a couple of times (and not breaking a sweat when his axe malfunctioned less than a half hour into the show). Highlights included a spirited version of “Hey Julie” (in which the band was joined by 6 or 7 members of the audience, playing various types of percussion) and a take on “Radiation Vibe” that saw the band incorporating bits of several Eighties rock classics into the song, including Billy Joel’s “A Matter of Trust” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Burnin’ for You”.  The audience sang along to every word of every (not new) song during the band’s set, from album tracks like “Barbara H.” to the inevitable “Stacy’s Mom”.

The new songs (with the best of the bunch being “A Dip in the Ocean”) were all pretty stellar, so my anticipation for seeing them has now officially been transferred to anticipation for their new album. FoW has yet to disappoint, and after checking out a great live performance from the band (and opener Marshall Crenshaw, who was also fantastic), I’m hoping a label snaps them up ASAP.

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