The Features | 11.19.14

live featuresPeople who love The Features really love them.



w/The Moon & the Stars and Chappo
The Firebird, St. Louis

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to see Nashville-via-Murfresboro, TN’s The Features, and that is a shame. They are one of those bands that so many people hear and love but no one ever seems to have heard of. A fun little band able to craft wonderful power-pop-meets-garage-rock songs. St. Louis is lucky to get them on their last night of their fall West Coast tour before they head home for a homecoming show. Their set was fun and energetic as always. Song choices were mostly from 2009’s Some Kind of Salvation, 2011’s Wilderness, and 2013’s self-titled release. They played only two songs off the grossly underrated Exhibit A from 2004, but thankfully one of those was the wonderfully sentimental “The Idea of Growing Old.”

When The Features play clubs here, there never seems to be a large crowd (although the same can’t be said when they’ve opened for Kings of Leon and My Morning Jacket). When front man Matt Pelham joked about never seeing the same people from one show to the next, he wasn’t kidding. On this night, the band played most of its fan favorites, which had people dancing the whole time. It is always great to see an enthusiastic crowd, especially when it’s not the biggest. The Features seemed to feed off that, as they, too, looked to be having a good time on stage. They even threw in a great cover of The Doors; “Roundhouse Blues” with the guitarist from opener Chappo. People who love The Features really love them, and the near 100 people who made it out got a great little show.

Things started off with Bellville, IL’s The Moon & the Stars. They are a power trio whose songs range from jangly power-pop to stuff akin to the Foo Fighters; lyrically, however, all of their songs, to borrow from my partner in crime, “are about being in the friend zone.” All three members were very good musicians in their own right. Chappo, the other opener, blended rock with electronica/dance grooves to produce interesting songs reminiscent of ’80s synth pop. The band leader is a bit of a wild one on stage—at one point, he was hanging upside down from the ceiling, and at another rolling around on the floor. Their lead guitarist was quite good and really cut loose when needed. I was intrigued by their songs and hope to hear more from them. | Mike Koehler

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