Feelies, Icy Demons | Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Feelies, Icy Demons Recommended Member Picks Free All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Mon., June 29, 7:30 p.m. 2009

I’m typically cynical about band reunions, but I sure don’t feel that way about this one. Inasmuch as they’re the ultimate anti-rock stars, with zero extramusical personality and a consistent distaste for the limelight, I can’t imagine that the Feelies’ decision to start playing again last summer after 17 years apart was motivated by much more than the fun of it—though admittedly, the exact timing may have had something to do with Bar/None’s plans to reissue their albums Crazy Rhythms and The Good Earth in September, with previously unreleased archival material as well as B sides, EP tracks, and some new live recordings. I’m especially eager for this reunion because several of my all-time favorite live-music experiences have come courtesy of the Feelies—like a 1986 show at the West End where they played six well-deserved encores. No band has ever gotten more mileage from the strum frenzies of the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On” than the Feelies did; it’s as though they extracted not just their music’s hypnotic power but their entire songwriting vocabulary from that single tune. As brilliant as their four albums are—and Crazy Rhythms rates in my top ten rock records ever—the band was always way better live, maniacally speeding up tempos and creating an ineffable zone where everything in the world felt just right. Icy Demons open. —Peter Margasak

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