Landmark Theatre - April 19, 2004

Band Website


Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger hard at work.

Fountains of Wayne have Got It Going On!

The New York City-based power pop band Fountains of Wayne was founded by the singing/songwriting duo of Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood. The two met in 1986 while studying at Williams College in Massachusetts. They worked together in various bands until forming Fountains of Wayne in 1996 and released their critically acclaimed self-titled debut LP on Atlantic that same year. Fountains of Wayne's line-up also includes Guitarist Jody Porter who was a founding member of the 90's shoegazer band The Belltower and Drummer Brian Young who formerly pounded skins for The Posies. Bassist Adam Schlesinger also enjoyed success as the author of the title theme to the Tom Hanks rock & Roll movie That Thing You Do! "That Thing You Do" earned an Oscar nod for Best Original Song in 1997.
Fountains of Wayne's sophomore effort, Utopia Parkway, followed in 1999 and the single "Denise" was a college radio hit. Four years later, the band issued Welcome Interstate Managers and found themselves in the spotlight due to the song "Stacy's Mom" which reached a high point of #3 on the Billboard pop chart.
The song, which as the title suggests, is about an adolescent boy's obsession with his friend Stacy's mother. The song is funny and catchy and was impossible to escape. The video featuring Rachel Hunter was a huge hit for the band and one of the most downloaded videos on the internet.

Adam Schlesinger and company began the current leg of their tour in Syracuse, NY which is interesting because although Adam lived in Montclair, New Jersey, he spent a lot of time in the Syracuse area. His Grandmother, Rose Bernthal, was the former director of Syracuse's Landmark Theatre and was influential in saving the Historic structure from demolition. On visits to Syracuse, she would let Adam help with duties such as answering phones and selling tickets. For Adam, it was a bit of a homecoming.
The crowd at the show was made up mostly of college students, the"Hot Topic crowd" and pre-teen girls that were drawn to the band because of the popularity of the "Stacy's Mom" single. It was not an uncommon sight to see groups of ten young girls escorted by the "cool" Mom hanging out in the lobby. Many of the fans at the show were not even alive when when the band released it's first album back in 1996.
Fountains of Wayne chose two local bands: Candid and Last American Virgins to open the show. Both bands turned in respectable sets and got a lot of attention from the girls in the lobby after their sets. Both bands also did well selling t-shirts and autographing posters for the youngsters.
When Fountains of Wayne finally took the stage the crowd was very much into it. Gina Stankivitz, who accompanied me to the show, is a really big fan of the band and sang along to every song on FoW's set list. Although most of the crowd sat patiently during the opening songs, when the band got to "Stacy's Mom" the entire audience jumped to their feet. It was like a big Rock & Roll sing-a-long. And speaking of sing-a-longs, at one point during the show, Chris Collingwood led the crowd in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for Adam's 93 year old grandfather: Murray Bernthal who was in attendance.
During the second to last song, which was Fountains of Wayne's first hit "Radiation Vibe", the band did a breakdown in the middle and performed a medley of classic rock songs before finishing. The youngsters in the crowd seemed a bit confused. One such young person that was writing an article for their school paper, leaned over and asked Gina if she knew the names of the "Classic rock songs." We got a good laugh out of it.
The band closed with "Survival Car" and then came back for a two song encore.

FoW Set list: I've Got A Flare / Denise / No Betyter Place / Barbara H / Red Dragon Tattoo / Hackensack / Hey Julie / Valley Winter Song / Sick Day / Stacy's Mom / Mexican Wine / Bright Future In Sales / Sink To The Bottom / Radiation Vibe / Survival Car Encore: *unknown*/ Leave The Biker

Before the show I sat down with the band (and superfan Gina) to talk about the band's tour, Adam's history with the Salt City, Rachel Hunter, and life in general. We cracked a few beers, told a few jokes and had a blast. They were a very friendly bunch of guys and a lot of fun to meet.
After the show, the band came over to The Blue Tusk (where I am a bouncer) and had a few of the fine beers and wines that we offer. We all hung out, talked about the show and had a great time until it was time for the guys to head out to the next show.