At the height of their popularity Soul Asylum was playing arenas as a support or headlining act. Their Grave Dancer’s Union album remains one of the most popular albums of an era, the 1990’s, when the music industry changed dramatically due to the shift from physical product to downloads.
Perhaps that is why a band like Soul Asylum is part of a triple bill and yet cannot fill a venue the size of Buffalo’s historic venue, The Tralf. 1990’s bands didn’t have the opportunity to build the sizeable fan bases that arena rock bands did in the decade before.
That being said, Soul Asylum is no worse for it. Conversely, fans in attendance were treated to what Soul Asylum always does, they play their ass off from the first to last note. And, in spite of the fact they are a nationally recognized act, they attack their craft with the finesse of a sweaty bar band playing for their best friends and relatives.
Dave Pirner is still the face of Soul Asylum, and he has managed to surround himself with a monster rhythm section featuring Prince drummer Michael Bland and bassist Winston Roye. They made the venue shake, providing a powerful sonic backdrop for Pirner and Justin Sharbono on guitar.
The setlist was predictably solid, a mix of old and new heavily reliant on the aforementioned Grave Dancer’s Union, all seamlessly tied together. They truly save the best for last, with the sets last three songs being “Runaway Train”, “Somebody to Shove” and concluding with an over the top version of “April Fool” that was deserving of an encore. Sadly it was another band’s night to headline and the band gave up the stage.
Fountains Of Wayne, the power-pop band from New York City, closed out the show as they put their brand of catchy melodic tunes on display. The band strangely enough these days still features the original lineup of bassist, keyboardist Adam Schlesinger, lead guitarist Jody Porter, drummer Brian Young and singer, guitarist Chris Collingwood.
The band played a mix of their best loved songs which represented each album in their catalog including “Mexican Wine,” “Someone To Love” and of course their biggest hit “Stacy’s Mom.” Oddly enough the band has had more chart success in the UK than in their own native America.
The band’s one hour set was well received by the fans who had remained as several patrons left after Soul Asylum. Perhaps they had to work early the next day who knows. Anyone who stayed were glad they did as Fountains Of Wayne treated them to some great music performed with the charm of a band who still enjoys the craft of catchy songs that are addictive with their memorable hooks and lyrics.
Fountains Of Wayne Set
I’ve Got A Flair
A Dip In The Ocean
Red Dragon Tattoo
The Summer Place
Valley Winter Song
You Curse At Girls
It Must Be Summer
Someone To Love
No Better Place
Sink To The Bottom