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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Adam Schlesinger + Mike Viola + The Corner Laughers = Positively Power Pop Pleasure

If most of these names don't ring a bell for you it is because they seldom make headlines themselves but are behind some of the best movie music ever. I admit to being a sucker for anything distantly related to the 1996 Tom Hanks directed film, That Thing You Do!. So it was a complete no brainer for me when I saw that Adam Schlesinger was performing this rare show with Mike Viola. After all, Adam wrote the infectiously catchy title tune, Mike sang the lead vocal and added his production talents all over the soundtrack of this favorite flick of mine.

With only two west coast appearances and the one in San Francisco being at the tiny Café Du Nord on Market Street we made sure to arrive plenty early for this very special performance. We took advantage of their priority seating for diners and had a great meal as well.

The warm up act was just a perfect way to kick off this evening. Featuring Karla Kane on vocals and an electric ukuele, The Corner Laughers treated us to a dose of cheery pop. They included a couple of festive Christmas songs including a great version of The Kinks holiday classic, "Father Christmas".

Adam Schlesinger's most notable work as a band member is his bass playing for the group, Fountains of Wayne who are a Grammy-nominated power pop band from New Jersey. So we also enjoyed a few FOW tunes and Adam's kicking bass lines.

In addition to Mike Viola's work on the "That Thing You Do!" soundtrack he also was a major contributor to the music for Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and most recently, "Get Him To The Greek".
When not playing lead guitar he took turns with Adam at the keyboards.

The band consisted of just Adam, Mike and their drummer. They joked about the night before at their Los Angeles show when they somehow neglected to introduce the guy pounding out all those beats. This oversight was especially funny with only a total of three of them on the stage performing. So they more than made up for it by constantly propping the guy behind them, Brian Wolfe. So here's a shot of Brian whose drums kept this performance stinging.

So we were delighted by The Corner Laughers and dazzled by two of the best pop songwriters around. This rare live collaboration of talent was a dream billing for any fan of power pop music.

And as the old expression goes..."That's The Ticket"!

1 comment:

  1. We so wish we could have been there! Thank you for the review and photograph! Mahalo Nui Loa.