Fountains Of Wayne, Soul Asylum and Evan Dando – 10/05/2013
Webster Hall – New York City
Words/Photos/Videos- Jay Porks
Sometimes I write these things feeling the need to put H.G. Wells in the byline because I really have a knack for taking folks through a time machine from time to time. And that happens again tonight. What goes on people? Welcome back to another Jay Porks Experience. Big night for shows in New York City that this guy would attend, as we have Local H up a Santos Party House while Fountains of Wayne and Soul Asylum split a bill at Webster Hall with Evan Dando opening up. Tough decisions had to be made (to be discussed more in detail at the bottom), and we’re on our way to Webster Hall tonight for the triple bill. Doors opening at 6PM with a 7PM showtime, my thoughts are similar to all the other times I’ve head to Webster Hall: What time does “club night” start? This venue is notorious for hosting multiple shows on their multiple floors at simultaneous times full of Djs, glow sticks, Molly and EDM. The only time I want to see glow sticks and Molly is at Phish, but that’s another story for another day. Tonight we head way back to a time where my life was simple. Early-mid 90’s. A young Porks, enjoying the sounds of Runaway Train, Come On Feel The Lemonheads, and a really cool Radiation Vibe video. Beats today’s world of leaving the job I hate heading directly into the city to see an awesome show followed by coming home to do a job I love before heading directly back to that same job I hate. So, let’s get started with that job I love, shall we?
Made my way inside Webster Hall slightly before 7PM. Grabbed the photo pass I scored and headed upstairs to the VIP section. Grabbed a table, ordered a drink, took a seat. Evan Dando walks out 7 sharp with his Telecaster and began to play his solo set. I think it was a telecaster anyway, I’m no guitar tech I just like them. When Dando was announced opening solo it was assumed (by this guy anyway) that he’s be acoustic, or have a no name band behind him. Not the case, Dando and a lyric sheet on a stand.
Played tuned down versions of a lot of fan favorites. Confetti, Into Your Arms, My Drug Buddy and All My Life drew the biggest cheers throughout the half hour. And no messiness ensued. Not like the It’s A Shame About Ray tour from two years ago. This was solid, this was beautiful. And with Dando alone on stage and me upstairs, the acoustics in the room sounded great. Even on the videos, the sound sounds a lot better before Dando went off at 7:30 and I made my way downstairs to get a tee shirt.
Why waste the VIP section? Might as well head downstairs and grab a tee shirt before the end of the night when it’s a madhouse down there. And I don’t have clothes that fit me anymore, so now at every show I have to be sure to grab a medium because my wardrobe consists of band tee shirts (not exactly a shopper). So I grabbed myself a blue Fountains Of Wayne shirt for 20 bucks because it had a boombox on it and I thought it was cool. Can’t argue with 20 bucks. Heading back upstairs and I’m met by security. “Photo pass not upstairs only VIP”. That’s some real deal fuckery right there. You have an upstairs level THAT I WAS JUST ON containing a maximum of 15 people up there, 7 of them being model type woman that I’m sure are all Evan Dando +1’s. I’m one person. There’s not even a pit here if memory recalls. I was upstairs for Toadies/Helmet/Ume with a photo pass. I was upstairs at the Melvins with a regular ticket. Webster Hall: You make it extremely hard to enjoy a concert experience.
Soul Asylum is poised for a 7:45 start time according to a sheet of paper taped on a wall. So making my way down front, I do notice about a foot or two of space between the stage and the barricade. So like the annoying guy I am, I slide through some folks and make it in there. I notice two girls are there, so I join them and try and take some of those cool shots from down low like all my cool “professional” photographer friends do, working with the light show and stuff. Not exactly Mick Rock, but I actually got some decent shots. Pirner and the boys kicked things off with an energetic “Stand Up And Be Strong”.
Was in the pit for “Misery”, so recording wasn’t an option 3rd song in. With each line, each chord of the song my appreciation becomes deeper it was cool to snap pictures while screaming the lyrics out. Not only am I having a blast but there’s a room full of people behind the barricade wondering what the hell this hack is doing sitting at the cool kids table.
Funny thing about Soul Asylum, they have all these songs about tons of different topics, some of them darker than others. Yet, these dudes look like they’re having the time of their lives. Pirner is jumping around the stage with the hair blocking his face making you swear this was 1993 all over again.
Their drummer looks like King Mabel from old school WWF. That’s not a “because he’s black” joke or a “because he’s a bigger dude” joke. That’s a “This guy looks like if the kit doesn’t sound perfect he’s gonna stare it down until it does Chuck Norris style”. It was pretty flawless. Whole band was tight. “Black Gold” and “Leave This Town” were intense. Dave Pirner states before they jump into “Can’t Even Tell”: “This song is dedicated to… Jay and Silent Bob”. Hell yeah. Of course you know by sets end we got our “Runaway Train” and “Somebody To Shove”, which were awesome to experience live but at the same time the sound downstairs in the front is low on the vocals. Several of us looking at each other pointing to our ears. After the set I reached for the set list, and some dude behind me wanted it, I could tell in his voice he needed that set list. I figured since it wasn’t handwritten or anything, then all I needed of it was a picture. I gave it to dude. He’s like “Thanks man you rock! I gotta go I’m off to another show!”
Me: Local H at Santos?
Me: Tell Scott I said Hi and tell Brian I love the shit out of him.
Life’s funny isn’t it? Between sets, I notice the girl hanging in the photo pit, so I go over to find out whose payroll she’s on. She with Brooklyn Vegan? Spin? Maybe Pitchfork, I’d so badly love to make fun of one of those people in real life. But no, she’s homegrown. Doing her own thing for a few different things (which links will be provided for shortly), Jay Porks style. I like that. So we may or may not have had a moment which mimicked the Sonic Youth ‘Dirty Boots’ music video in the photo pit. Maybe. Some of us have class and would never kiss and tell.
Fountains of Wayne hit the stage at 9:15 just as a random piece of paper taped on the wall indicated earlier. “I’ve Got A Flair”, “Dip In The Ocean” and “Joe Rey”. These dudes have power. They’re like if Weezer took LSD. Feedback flying everywhere, jammy portions at times then dance-y sections at times. This whole bill is like, the REAL Summerland. I turn to my new buddy and mention how miserable they look. She agrees. I mean, here we just had Soul Asylum up there entertaining the shit out of themselves. Chris Collingwood has this dead stare on, this being the first time I’m ever seeing this band, maybe that’s how dude is. Didn’t effect their performance or anything, I just like when people are happy. Moods heightened increasingly throughout the set.
Only thing wrong with anything that went down on stage tonight is due to low vocals down in the front area. If the reply to that inquisition is “Well you’re too close to the speakers” then that barricade needs to be moved further back so people don’t end up hating the place they attend shows. And Webster Hall, if you would have allowed me reentry to the upstairs section you’d avoid getting abused in this review, and in depth on episode five of my weekly podcast.
Anyway, in the pit snapping shots. Not sure how many songs we’re allowed in here but we’re up to song four and no one has booted us. Time to sin. I’m taking video in the photo pit. Yes folks, I did it. I violated the holy grail of the photo pass. It was “Mexican Wine”, I HAD to do it. But I kept the camera low, and tapped the top pretending to snap shots until right after that song security came and booted me from somewhere for the 2nd time tonight. Another crowd favorite, ‘Red Dragon Tattoo‘ followed by a more recent offering ‘Summer Place” put everyone in the building right where they needed to be mentally.
A few songs later, it’s “Hey Julie” time. The bass player tells us this is where participants from the crowd come up on stage to assist, playing cymbals and rattles along to the song. A bunch of hot girls hit the stage and started a freaking party. So much love for that song already, but now it’s just even more fun. Set up the rest of theevenings proceedings featuring “I-95” into “It Must Be Summer” followed by another Porks favorite: “Someone To Love”. Great place to squeeze in “Traffic and Weather” here, but unfortunately they didn’t bust it out. Sad face emoticon. “No Better Place” preceded a really heady “Sink To The Bottom”.. which was epic before they ended with some spine tingly feedback bursts. They ducked off stage before coming out for the song that is the reason America (outside of the people in this venue) knows who this band is, “Stacy’s Mom”.
I’ll say it, and believe me or not I don’t care. I’m a “Radiation Vibe” Fountains of Wayne fan. I go back to the beginning. I loved that song, visited the store they named the band after as a child. When “Stacy’s Mom” came out, to me it was just “Awesome, they have themselves another hit. This band rocks”. Being in the building for it was just so freaking cool, and then to jump right into the aforementioned “Radiation Vibe” to close down the show was the only way that show could have ended, and it did. 10:33 and we’re done here.
Walking out of Webster Hall in a great mood, what a night. Like to thank Wes Kidd and the people at Red Light Management who were involved with helping to hook me up with the photo pass. That was awesome to be on the other side of the barricade for once. Also, before the show we had a little meeting of Concert Confessions family members as I got to meet our friend SluggerA in Times Square during her first trip to New York City in for the night to see Local H. Funny how everyone I’ve met on the internet are cool as hell and most of the people I run into in real life are complete douchenozzles. Good times!
Meat Puppets Brooklyn Bowl October 12th… do I even need to mention where to find that review on the the morning of the 13th? Catch you then!