January 31st, 2012

Loopster Live: The Features with The Live Lights and The Docs at Fitzgerald’s

The show started the minute I walked in the door on Thursday night. The Docs had already said their hellos and were on their way into the first song while I was grabbing a beer from the bar. The first question popped into my head: Had I just walked into a surprise performance by Kings of Leon? That’s the world I have to accept as the current generation of rockers finds their way into a spotlight, they’ve been looking up to bands from my early adulthood.


The band from College Station played in front of a home crowd full of parents and friends. In fact, the exuberance of the spectators nearly outmatched the band of the night, The Features.


Don’t take my earlier “Kings of Leon” comment as pigeon holing the band. Their music is much more adventurous than that. It has that same vigor, but allows each of the band mates to explore their instruments more. Guitar solos pepper throughout the songs. Check their self-titled EP for a good sample of what I’m talking about. Download it while you’re at it.


Hopefully they’ll have a few Houston tour dates in the near future so you can check them out for yourself. It’s never too early to have another band to have on your radar and if “Rose” is any indication, they’re green dot deserves to be flashing.


The Docs ended up finishing their night with an impromptu encore demanded by the crowd. It was the first time I’ve heard “Free Bird!” yelled out in the audience in a long time. I’m going to blame that on one of the parents that were there for the show. Instead, the band jumped into a cover of “Jailhouse Rock” for we old and new fans.


After The Live Lights set, a warm-up to their eventual show at the Main Street Block party, the crowd started to fill in the area right in front of Fitzgerald’s small, downstairs stage for The Features. The band that has received new buzz by finding themselves on the new Twilight soundtrack, took to songs off of their first two albums for a majority of their set.


The Features‘ newest record released in 2011, is a little more refined and doesn’t have quite the the same raw punch as the two previous albums (Exhibit A [2004] and Some Kind of Salvation [2009]). That nuance was completely lost in the live show. Songs caught me off guard as I figured them to be a part of their earlier discography. Judging by Matt Pelham predilection on vocals to scream at the microphone, it seems like they wanted to bring the most possible energy to the show.


The Features barely slowed down long enough to acknowledge the crowd, jumping from one audio assault to another. Songs like “The Drawing Board” and “Lions” got the most response from the crowd. One fan in particular, nodded joyfully and knowingly as Pelham belted out the line “some kind of salvation.” Fans were everywhere, they just had a hard time keeping up with the guys from Tennessee.


Live show acumen is obvious each time you give one of their albums a spin, but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away quite like I was. Hearing a song like “Golden Comb” live gives it an even more epic feel. With Pelham practically standing two feet away from the microphone to keep from blowing out the house sound system, the awed sensation stuck with me until the next day. Yes, there are a number of you out there that I admonished for missing the chance to see The Features. I’m not sorry if I called you names. You deserved each and every one of them.


We have a bunch of other photos to check out:

More of The Docs on Flickr

More of The Features on Flickr

More of The Live Lights on Flickr

And, one more for good measure…


— Paul


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