Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Carly's Review: The Birchmere April 15

And so begins my epic three-nights-in-a-row-of-Felice Adventure!!

Night 1: April 15 @ The Birchmere, Alexandria VA

The Felice Brothers’ 4/15 show at the Birchmere was not as high-voltage as other times I’ve seen them live, but it was a good, solid show. The super-intimate setup of the Birchmere (stage is only about 2/2.5 ft tall, low ceilings) drew the standing crowd close into the Brothers’ rambling, rambunctious sound and even people sitting at tables along the periphery were bouncing in their seats. I had been aching to see them play since I’d last had the pleasure (November 08) and had brought along some friends who had never been to a Felice Brothers concert—the set they played was a great mixture of fast/slow and new/old songs from their repertoire and they sounded GREAT (aside from Searcher’s mic being off for the first third of the show).

I was skeptical going into this show because I knew that Simone—my favorite Felice—was not going to be there, and as most Felice Brothers fans know he is one of the most charismatic performers around. As far as playing is concerned, Searchbag can more than hold his own (some people with drum knowledge say he’s even better than Simone) but he lacked Simone’s magnetism—and that wasn’t a bad thing. It was a treat to actually be able to pay attention to the other brothers; I hadn’t noticed before Ian’s quirky hopping dance and James’s expressions while he rocks out on the accordion (and while playing Marie, one of their absolute best new songs).

Highlights of this show: Marie, Two Hands + Let Me Come Home (great pics to round out the encore), and my #1 favorite song of theirs: Her Eyes Dart Round.
Not sure how I feel about: the song Farley sings (“Lay Me Down”) and the lack of Simone.