The Feelies spent their Record Store Day in DC playing music—a lot of it.
The bulk of it was a three-hour show with two full sets and four encores at the 9:30 Club, in a show so rare it some fans flew in from across the country. But they totaled more than 40 songs altogether Saturday if you count their free afternoon set on a sidewalk in front of a record store.
There, at Red Onion on U Street, it was all acoustic guitars and woodblocks, curious looks from the spa next door, warm smiles from longtime fans, and clueless looks from young urbans cutting a wide path around the whole thing on their way to yoga.
The long-running quintet hardly seemed at home in the light of the afternoon. But they didn’t look that comfortable, either, in their nighttime 9:30 showcase. By now that’s kind of the modus operandi from the band who made one of their first recordings “The Boy with Perpetual Nervousness.”
They haven’t lost the nerves it seems. Guitarists Glenn Mercer and Bill Million still have a hard time even looking at the audience, let alone talking to them. As he sings, Mercer keeps his eyes steadily on the lyric sheets he brings up to a makeshift music stand attached to his mic stand—each song its own loose leaf page, folded over.