Posted in music | pictures on July 6, 2008

photos by Jason Bergman

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies are a rock band from Haledon, New Jersey. They formed in 1976 and disbanded in 1992 after having released four albums. The band reunited in 2008. [Wikipedia]
And they played their fourth 2008 show to a large crowd in Battery Park on the Fourth of July. They opened for Sonic Youth, and they sounded surprisngly tight for a band that broke up 16 years ago. More pictures below....

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The band lineup is the one that gelled in 1983 and made the last three of the four Feelies albums. It has Mr. Mercer, 53, and Mr. Million, 54, on guitars; Brenda Sauter, 49, on bass; and Dave Weckerman, 58, and Stan Demeski, 47, on drums and percussion. Mr. Mercer and Mr. Million have resumed their songwriting collaboration, and the sets will include some new material.

The Feelies were a vivid apparition between 1977, when they played their debut show at a high school here, and 1991, when they released their fourth album, "Time for a Witness," and played a final Fourth of July show at Maxwell's. Then they disappeared. Mr. Million suddenly moved to Florida without leaving a forwarding address and gave up guitar, and the band was no more. [NY Times]

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

The Feelies @ Battery Park

We'll credit Gaylord Fields' onstage Feelies intro invocation/namedrop of Bud Costello as the positive vibeage that kept big rain away from Battery Park yesterday, but it was a great atmosphere all around for the thousands who attended the WFMU-supported Sonic Youth/Feelies show put on by River To River and Downtown Alliance. We should say upfront that both bands' soundmen were geniuses, it's the best I've heard either act, and a big shout to our own Irene Trudel, Bill Bowen, Scott Williams and Diane Farris for swinging WFMU's first ever big-venue live broadcast for the Sonic Youth portion, which went out at 5:00 PM on Friday. [WFMU]
Sonic Youth headlined the show.

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Comments (59)

Glenn Mercer still smokes on those leads. I was impressed. It took a few songs to get going but... "The High Road," "Away" and "Slipping Into Something"...awesome.

Posted by bill p | July 6, 2008 1:56 PM

woah I'm from North Haledon...

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 2:05 PM

They were awesome. Plus I had no idea my small-town librarian was a rocking bass player by night!

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 2:10 PM

Let the snarky, ageist comments begin.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 2:14 PM

god bless river 2 river! what a fantastic day of music! the sonics killed it. they all looked to be having so much fun and they sounded better than ever. what a treat to have them dig for a bunch of older tunes. and as for this comment on the feelies > They opened for Sonic Youth, and they sounded surprisngly tight for a band that broke up 16 years ago. < yes, exactly. that's what happens when musicians actually know how to play instruments. it's a wonderful thing. i look forward to seeing where many of the bands of today are in twenty years.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 2:20 PM

i was there and i don't remember the sonics playing. i feel like that's something i would have noticed. did they come on before the feelies or something or was it like after sonic youth was done? i'm kinda disappointed i missed that (even though sonic youth and the feelies were so damn good).

Posted by howard p. flochango | July 6, 2008 2:45 PM

maybe the sonics=the acoustics?

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 2:47 PM

boring

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 2:58 PM

Flochango, you're just not funny, and that must suck being the "grin and bear it" friend in your little hipster clique.

Why don't you go rent "Juno" again.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 2:58 PM

lol @ Florida.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:06 PM

or, um...possibly, just possibly, those who have listened to sonic youth for more than a few years speak of them as 'the sonics'. afterall, they took the 'sonic' part of their name from the group=the sonics.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:21 PM

flochango, i agree with the poster above. you should go rent yourself a copy of juno and go hold up somewhere all by yourself. once you get a clue, you can come back and join us.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:23 PM

they took sonic from fred "sonic" smith

Posted by lori | July 6, 2008 3:24 PM

I saw the feelies on tuesday and didn't have a ticket for 7/4. Were there places availabe to see band w/o tkt in park?

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:35 PM

^ no, they didn't. thurston liked the sonics and borrowed that for the band name.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:36 PM

The feelies NEVER broke up...they took a break. The Mawells shows were amaazzing

Posted by les-ster | July 6, 2008 3:40 PM

"The feelies NEVER broke up...they took a break."

16 year "break" = breaking up.

DUMBEST PEOPLE EVER (who like to make the distinction beteween taking a break and breaking up)

Posted by Larry Lawrence | July 6, 2008 3:43 PM

Sadly, this is par for the course with BV posts. An initial piece on The Feelies playing again turns into a pissing match. Who fucking cares where they got the name Sonic Youth. I will say, i did read once in an interview with Thurston that he got inspired by the group The Sonics, but whatever. The fact is, The feelies sounded wonderful and after seeing Sonic Youth countless times, it was quite possibly the best I've ever heard them play. And they pulled out some old songs they don't play often including opening with "She is not alone".

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:43 PM

sonics > sonic youth

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:52 PM

^

you > ass

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:53 PM

lots of good bv dick-of-the-day contenders in this thread. the winner will be announced later today!

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 3:53 PM

Anyone have the setlist?

Posted by maitai | July 6, 2008 4:37 PM

who would say the sonics when they mean sonic youth? that's sure to confuse the kids. anyway everyone knows sonic youth got their name from sonic boom.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 4:45 PM

feelies setlist:

on the roof
high road
nobody knows (new song)
let's go
higher ground
away
time is right (new song, really good)
slipping into something
doin' it again
raised eyebrows
crazy rhythms
---------
outdoor miner (wire cover)
fa ci la

Sonic Youth

She is not Alone
Bull in the Heather
Silver Rocket
Skip Tracer
The Sprawl
World Looks Red
Cross the Breeze
Hey Joni
Jams Run Free
The Wonder/Hyperstation
Drunken Butterfly
--------
Making the Nature Scene
Pink Steam
--------
Schizophrenia
100%

Posted by bill p | July 6, 2008 4:47 PM

Holla!

Posted by Sonic the Hedgehog | July 6, 2008 5:02 PM

mike watt calls them "the sonics", so go pick a fight with him.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 5:49 PM

who's the dude on bass? i know it's nick nolte on acoustic, though.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 7:04 PM

anyone know where i can get some weed?

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 7:14 PM

is that a man in a dress playing bass?

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 7:15 PM

Are you guys honestly unfamiliar with Fred Sonic Smith? 'Tards...

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 7:18 PM

me and my girlfriend broke up 16 years ago.... i TRIED to tell her it was just a "break". And when i call her drunk, late at night when i'm near her place i STILL try to convince her it was just a "break"....sometimes it works!

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 7:18 PM

people who call them the Sonics vs. people who call them the Youth: rumble tonight at Santos Party House.

Posted by Obama | July 6, 2008 7:58 PM

haha last two comments are great.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 8:26 PM

>>mike watt calls them "the sonics", so go pick a fight with him.

haha. totally. most fans who have listened to them over the years speak of them in short as the sonics all the time. and if mike watt says it too, well then fuck yeah, the sonics it shall be.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 8:31 PM

ohhhh, fur fuck's sake. this is quite the stoopid argument, isn't it? come on now. when sonic youth plays the same bill as the sonics, then everyone can get real specific on names. k? but really, does anyone bitch and compain, sadly probably so, when people speak of the rolling stones as = the stones? what about pink floyd as = floyd. um, yeah, i thought so. and as the aforementioned poster said, if the almighty mike watt is calling them the sonics, well that's sure as hell good enough for me.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 8:36 PM

"sonics" for SY is fine. but whoever calls guided by voices "the voices" is a retard.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 8:55 PM

ball nuts.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 9:40 PM

there isn't another band called the stones, or floyd, so yeah calling sonic youth by the name of an entirely different band because they share a word, is moronic.

that tugboat mf'cker mike watt was probably talking about the actual sonics anyway.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 9:48 PM

Thurston hearts The Who, Thurston hearts The Who, does that mean that you, have to heart them too?

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 9:50 PM

no, dude. it's whorton hears a who. get it straight.

ps...mike watt was actually speaking of sonic youth as he's played with them on record and in concert many times. dumbass.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 10:58 PM

the minutemen have just been "taking a break" for the past 23 years

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 11:11 PM

how do the seattle super sonics fit in here? or the oklahoma city super sonics or whatever they're called now?

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2008 11:13 PM

well if mike watt played on record with sonic youth, and in concert, he clearly isn't allowed to mutter the phrase "the sonics" while referencing the real the sonics.

in other news, bob denver and bob dylan are interchangeable names.

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 2:16 AM

^nah. you jumped the shark with that comment, brahz.

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 9:03 AM

i personally refer to sonic youth as "the young rascals"

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 9:07 AM

I call pink floyd "the sonics," and sonic youth "the floyd."

I also call mike watt "the skipper."

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 9:36 AM

i call the feelies the touchies.

Posted by Anonymouse | July 7, 2008 10:34 AM

any recordings floating around?

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 11:11 AM

There is a recording in the usual place.

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 12:40 PM

Calling Sonic Youth The Sonics when referring to them live over the past however many years up until last year was acceptable (stupid but acceptable) as the original Sonics were not an active live band so there was as little hope of confusion as there was hope that the original Sonics would play. However, The Sonics are now touring and ever since reforming and playing Brooklyn for the hipster community last year, Sonic Youth should no longer be called the Sonics.

Please all Sonic Youth fans: In the wake of last year's amazing reuinion shows by the Sonics, you are now called upon to hereby refrain from ever abbreviating Sonic Youth's name to that of the real Sonics.

However, you can still call the Feelies the Touchies.

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 1:15 PM


But there's a band called the Touchables.

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 1:16 PM

The Feelies= The Feelables

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 1:19 PM

I can't believe I have to say Sonic Youth now. It was so much easier saying The Sonics. It's like half my day is suddenly filled with the endless task of saying S-O-N-I-I-I-I-I-C Y-O-O-O-O-O-U-T-H. Fuck that took forever.

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 1:39 PM

The Feelies= The Feel

Sonic Youth= The Osc

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 1:52 PM

I thik The Voices are on a break - previous show was 2004 - I think the singer Pollard moved to Florida and gave up guitar and started farming alligators...

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 3:53 PM

"There is a recording in the usual place."

And that place is?

Posted by Anonymous | July 7, 2008 4:51 PM

nyc taper has recordings of both the 4th show and one of the maxwell's shows.

Posted by bill p | July 8, 2008 1:38 AM

I'm a Blues fan. Does this mean I like the genre of music, or I like the Blues Project, the Blues Magoos, Blues Traveler, Blue Cheer, the Blues Brothers..... ?

What it means is some of you are morons who need to say Sonic Youth when you're talking about Sonic Youth.

Posted by Anonymous | July 8, 2008 1:58 AM

Photos look good and it sounds like it was a great show. This is the first time i ever heard someone talk about how good both soundmen did. Usualy one band sounds good and other does not because they set system up different. Nice to know they can stop the rain god also.

Posted by dsl | June 22, 2011 11:22 AM

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