Live Review: The Feelies

The Feelies
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
July 23, 2011
By David Chiu

The Feelies’ career began with almost avant-garde, post punk indie rock leanings that later evolved into jangly, melodic guitar pop. The opposite was also true based from their excellent show at Prospect Park this past Saturday, as the music started off warmly and breezily but later morphed into full-fledged, energetic rock and roll.

The New Jersey band, who had reunited a couple of years ago, released their first new album in two decades this spring, the wonderful Here Before. A couple of those album’s songs, such as “Nobody Knows” and “Should Be Gone” were performed as part of a set list that drew from each of the band’s previous records. Those warmer and shimmering tunes were poppy yet still rocking in some respects like “The Final Word” and “Higher Ground.”

But through the course of the set, it seemed like the songs built on intensity pf the playing, among them the fast-paced rocker “Away” and the punkish “Too Far Gone.” The rock and roll continued when the band returned for two encores which mainly consisted of covers of songs by Bob Dylan (“Seven Days”), the Stones (“Rocks Off”) and the Stooges (“I Want to Be Your Dog”), the Doors (“Take as it Comes”), and finally their own experimental rocker “Fa Ce La” from their classic 1980 debut Crazy Rhythms.

As far as the performances go, they were brilliant. Certainly the music was highlighted by both the lead guitar playing by Mercer (who burned through a couple of tracks with his electrifying solos) and the rhythm guitar of Million. Dave Weckerman added color with his percussion; drummer Stanley Demeski and bassist Brenda Sauter provided stable rhythmic support.

The band performed for over an hour of music that alternated between rocking and awe inspiring. For this reviewer, this may have been one of the year’s best concerts witnessed.

Set List

1. On the Roof
2. The High Road
3. Nobody Knows
4. Let’s Go
5. Should Be Gone
6. Deep Fascination
7. Higher Ground
8. The Final Word
9. Away
10. Slipping (Into something)
11. Doin’ it Again
12. Too Far Gone
13. unknown ?
14. Crazy Rhythms

Encore
1. Seven Days
2. Rocks Off
3. I Wanna Be Your Dog

Encore II
1. Take It As It comes
2. Fa Ce La

Photos by David Chiu

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