A man playing an electric guitar in front of a purple background.

A man playing an electric guitar in front of a purple background.

Fountains Of Wayne, Soul Asylum, & Evan Dando Open The Space in Westbury NY 10-4-13 (Exclusive Coverage)

During the late 1980’s, a long list of independent bands emerged from the underground rock scene. With the glam metal scene dying down and grunge rock rising in popularity so did alternative rock. Three of the most iconic alternative rock bands from that era in Evan Dando (Lemonheads), Soul Asylum, and Fountains Of Wayne, have teamed up for a fall North American tour. On Friday October 4th the tour swung by the brand new venue The Space in Westbury, New York.

Breaking the ice for the evening of music was Lemonheads vocalist/guitarist Evan Dando. Having formed the Lemonheads with two friends from the Boston Massachusetts area back in 1986, the band has released nine full-length albums in that time. The peak of their popularity in the mainstream was in 1992 when they released the classic record It’s A Shame About Ray. After a 9-year absence, Dando reformed the Lemonheads in 2005.

With the Lemonheads alive and well Dando is also doing some solo touring. With a broad range of material to go to Dando performed a balanced set of classic tunes. The emotion in Dando’s voice and facial expressions proved after all these years he still has plenty of music left in him. A nice treat for fans was when Soul Asylum vocalist, Dave Pirner, came out on stage to sing a duet with Dando. The two lit up the room together for what would be a heartfelt performance.

With the stage and audience warmed up, Soul Asylum was ready to take the stage. Soul Asylum has been making music now for the better part of 3 decades. Five records deep into their career the band achieved massive mainstream success with the release of Grave Dancer Union (1992). The album brought Soul Asylum’s talents for writing quality rock tunes into the light and earning the recognition they worked hard for. Now in 2013, Soul Asylum is still performing at a high level and putting out quality music.

As the band hit the stage, they opened their set with five tracks off band’s newest record Delayed Reaction (2012). Tracks “Gravity”, “Into The Light”, “The Streets”, “Pipe Dream”, and “Take Manhattan” are all well written refreshing songs from the Delayed Reaction (2012) album. There is no question why Pirner and the band enjoy playing these songs, as they could be some of the band’s strongest material to date.

After showcasing newer material, the set took a turn back to 1992 with “Homesick”. Pirner’s vocal performance was top notch as he sang the sorrowful words to the track. Picking things right up the band went into the more upbeat track “Get on Out”. Michael Bland (drummer) drummed through the track and every other in the set with ease and reminded us how talented he really is.

Keeping things interesting the band played a mix of tracks ranging their entire career from “Lately” and “Oxygen” from The Silver Lining (2006) to the 1986 track “Made to Be Broken”. Mixed within everything was the classic Soul Aslyum tune “Misery”. Pirner’s energy level was high as he sang, jammed out on guitar, and bopped his head to the music. Toward the end of the song, the band transitioned into Paul McCartney’s hit “Silly Love Songs”.

As Soul Asylum’s set winded down Pirner broke out “Runaway Train”. The track sounds as good today as it did when it was all over the radio years ago. It is truly amazing how many people identify with this track and that within itself makes it special to hear it performed live. The crowd cheered with joy and Pirner was more than gracious of the positive vibe.

The set closed out with the killer rock tracks “Someone To Shove” and “April Fool”. Soul Asylum put on a wonderful performance of alternative rock unmatched by many bands. The band is tight, energetic, and sound better than ever.

New York’s own Fountains Of Wayne highlighted the evening’s grand finale. Formed back in 1996 Fountains Of Wayne mix a metallic blend of rock, alternative, and power pop. Impressively the band has sustained the same line-up of Chris Collingwood (vocals/guitar), Adam Schlesinger (bass), Jody Porter (guitar), and Brian Young (drums). Rock n roll and friendship has bonded these four for life it seems.

The band opened their set with the keyboard drenched feel good track “I’ve Got Flair”. Keeping the positive vibe flowing the band went into the catchy track “Mexican Wine”. Collingwood’s voice sounds as soothing as it did years ago and so do the band’s songs. With songs like “A Dip In The Ocean” and “Red Dragon Tattoo”, the audience danced and sang along with each word. Keeping things current the band mixed in another newer track in “The Summer Place”.

As Fountains Of Wayne set went on the excitement in the air maintained a high level. You could not help but smile as they played on with tracks like “Hey Julie”, “You Curse At Girls”, and “I-95”. The slower melodic pop tracks were the perfect relaxing mix the set needed midway through. Their set closed out with one of the first songs that started it all for the band in “Sink To The Bottom”. Fans were not nearly ready to call it a night and applauded until Fountains of Wayne came back out on the stage for a 4-song encore highlighted by “Cemetery Guns” and “Radiation Vibe”.

With the evening of rock, pop, and just great music came to a close one thing was certain and that was alternative rock is alive and well in 2013.


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1 Comment

  • Hello! Great review and even better photos. Looking for video of the Pirner/Dando duet. Do you have any or know who recorded? Or at the very least which song did they play? Thanks for your time.

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