|John Felice. happy just to be alive|
"As far as trying anything new, I ain't sure who said it but it goes something like '...stick with what you're good at'," Felice said to David Laing a couple years ago. "That don't mean I wanna just keep making the same record over and over. But our fans are hard core, and if we tried to go all 'Sgt Pepper' on them they would rise up and kill us. No, we just keep doing what we do." Before playing the affecting, cinematic "Common At Noon" last night, Felice cracked, "Someone told me today that if I'd only written this song and it'd been a hit, I'd still be remembered." He paused, adjusting his guitar, looked up at the dusty disco ball hanging from the ceiling, and said, "I could've killed myself, like, forty years ago." Despite Felice's years—or because of them—his songs resonated with a young, buzzed crowd nodding their collective head to life's romantic messiness.
Of the three other bands on the bill, I liked Minneapolis's Cozy the best. They arrived on stage in matching denim overalls and light blue t-shirts and mock-huddled at the drum set before kicking off a great set of glam pop. Their songs are hook-y and fun. When the bass player looks like Emmit Rhodes, the guitarist like a scrubbed-clean, stayed-in-school twin to Angus Young (complete with Gibson SG), and the songs would make any Slade fan grin, then you're in luck. By the end of the set the singer was stripped down to his drawers—he complained about pants a lot during the show—and gratefully accepted shots from the audience only to pour them over his head. It was that kind of night. I picked up their album on the way out.