Show Review

Aaron George
The Truth is...well, it's nothing to smile about.

For some reason everyone wanted to kick Corey Feldman’s ass. Or at least that was the joke I heard from most people prior to the night that his band, Corey Feldman and The Truth Movement, played at Annabelle’s in Akron. Why did this same idea occur to so many people you may ask? I have no idea, but I won't deny the likelihood that it would give me a strange sense of pride to come from the town that beat up someone who was in the classic movie The Lost Boys. I'm sure there is some psychological reasoning about besting one’s childhood heroes or something, but either way no punches were thrown that I saw and if they happened at some point after the show then whoever threw them probably got mauled by Feldman’s cro-magnon men bodyguards.

It really is impressive how much of a stir was made over this show. I suppose maybe it was the irony of Feldman playing Annabelle’s, or even playing Akron at all. Or maybe it just stirred up the part of everyone who went that probably loved his movies as a kid. I know that personally The Burbs is one of my all time favorites, and even if his part in that movie was secondary, it stood out. The man can act...sadly his music leaves something to be desired.

I'm just going to come out swinging (there's that whole fighting thing again) and say that this show was bad enough that I left after only hearing about five songs. Had I seen the opening band, Weird Penis, who I know for a fact can rock out because they once played a show at my house, I might have had a better time. As it was though the whole thing was kind of disappointing in a way I didn't think it would be. Going in I knew I probably wouldn't like the music but I had no clue that such a sad night was in store for me as I walked into Annabelle’s and handed the bouncer my ticket (as far as I know this is the first time Annabelle’s has used tickets for a show, and with there only being 200 of them they sold out fast).

Since you probably aren't aware unless you live in Akron or have played a show here, Annabelle’s is easily the best music bar we have, and it has been the best as far back as I can remember. Sure, Musica is pretty and has bigger acts I guess, but Annabelle’s is something of a haven for local music with shows nearly every night. The bar has helped many a local band develop something of a following and I know my old group loved playing there. If you are in a band and live in Akron, it's just something you end up doing. On top of this they always have cheap beer as well as the higher end stuff, and at least one night a week you can get a decent meal there for a great price. So why did Feldman’s tour manager set him up here? I don't know. I know why Annabelle’s did it, not only the obvious money but probably more so because, in a strange “Akron way” it makes perfect sense.

Feldman however just didn't seem to get the humor that everyone else was in on, and this is where things got pathetically depressing for me. From the moment I saw him sneak back stage in a hooded robe, hunched over to avert the eyes and gropes of the four people who noticed and stayed still, I knew I would end up depressed. "Aww", I know right, how sad that the poor rich actor doesn't know that everyone is laughing at him, and even if he does probably doesn't really care because at the end of the day he is still doing something most people can only dream of and I'm sure enough people DO really like his music to make it all ok and keep him ever sleeping next to someone at night. I know, I shouldn't feel any pity for him, but it's just in my nature and I have a special soft spot in my heart for people who just don't know when to give up on something.

Any part of the show, if placed in some other show, might have been alright on its own. Sure, he started the night in some strange leather outfit with giant holes in the side and ended up changing clothes about four times that I saw. Big deal, lots of musicians wear stupid crap on stage and it’s endearing (yes, I mean Karen O. Send me mean letters if you must). Oh, ok, also it took them way too long to get started because all the lights and cameras they had set up were having problems. Well, sure, I recently waited a good 25 minutes to see a European black metal band, and I don’t even like black metal, but still had a good time. Well, there was also the fact that Feldman sounded terrible, was more just yelling with no musical quality than any sort of singing. But, The Smashing Pumpkins are one of my all time favorites and they were notorious for being god awful live. Take all of this though, each of these things that can normally be overlooked, plus the fact that Feldman (god only knows why) has that curse of taking his music far too seriously and it just makes for a bad show. It doesn't help when everyone in the audience is more concerned with getting a picture than actually listening and as a result you have forty sweaty people crammed at one end of a bar basement with cameras hanging in the air like desperate periscopes.

To be more specific about the music...well, from what I remember the album they played is something of a concept piece and at the beginning of the show a boring story-book type monologue plays, it's Feldman telling a story that I guess deals with the beginning of the world. Throughout the first five songs this story somehow requires that Feldman change his outfit a few times and every so often shine a green laser pointer into the audience while making a menacing face. Oh, and there is also a woman in a bikini who dances with a hula-hoop...because that's totally Rock-&-Roll, I think. Honestly even writing about this is getting me down again.

Before the show I did a bit of research on the band on youtube. During this video crawling I came upon a video of Feldman talking on cable news right after Michael Jackson had died. At some point as he spoke, he began to get into how America views and treats celebrities, namely that we expect too much of them and as soon as they start to do things that we don't like, we write articles and make T.V. shows about them and say all sorts of bad things. The thing is that I completely agree with this, and when I heard about this show I had hoped that Feldman would have some how been more real, not played into the shtick that everyone was expecting where he presents his music as something hyper-profound and acts like a pretentious douche, just putting on some spectacle of nonsense. If he had come on and been down to earth, I can promise his act would have been far better for it and even if the songs themselves wouldn't have changed it might have been possible to at least have some fun that didn't come at the cost of another human being’s dignity.

I'm going to go ahead and say that if this act comes to your town, I wouldn't pay the money to get in. But even as I type that I know that if someone had recommended me to not go I still would have, just to see, that is the only reason I went in the first place. That's the thing about celebrities, most people would pay ten bucks to go into a crowded basement and point cameras at one as they make a complete ass of themselves, all the while commenting on how bad it all is. I know I sure did it, I even took the extra effort and made sure I got my ticket before they sold out. I guess the fact is that we love to gawk at people, and some people love to be gawked at. The real question of the night though came from a friend when he turned to me and said “I wonder what it's like to be a member of Corey Feldman’s band?” I still don't know if it would be something to brag about, but I'm leaning heavily towards no.