A while back, I got a little ranty about singer/songwriter Mirah verbally chastising the Neurolux audience for being chatty. In a huff after being shhhhh’d by a performer I'd paid to see, I laid out the following “concert-goers Magna Carta”:
1. If we pay to see a show, we should not be told how to experience it.
2. If your music lends itself more to quiet, focused entrancement, do not play Neurolux.
3. If you rock solidly enough, people will always pay attention.
Well, after Wednesday night’s Horse Feathers concert at Neurolux, I’m officially eating my words. Standing a mere three people from the stage, I could barely hear lead singer Justin Ringle’s hushed lyrics over the audience’s cacophonous chatter.
Though I was thoroughly in awe of multi-instrumentalist Sam Cooper—who rocked solidly with a drum mallet in his teeth, alternating between playing banjo, violin, xylophone and drums—the band’s quiet intimacy was spoiled by the wall of sound emanating from the bar. Here's Horse Feathers performing "Starving Robins" off their new album Thistled Spring, complete with truckloads of background noise.
One notable moment in the set—which mostly consisted of songs from the new album and 2008’s House With No Home but sadly only one from Words Are Dead—was when opening band Y La Bamba joined Horse Feathers on-stage to sing “Happy Birthday” to cellist Catherine Odell and Y La Bamba's multi-instrumentalist Scott Magee.
Here’s a video of the lively Happy Birthday interlude.
Though Horse Feathers would no doubt have been better suited to a more low-key venue, like VAC, I was nonetheless perplexed as to why so many people paid $8-$10 to not listen to the band.