For a certain kind of music fan, The Feelies are one of the New Jersey bands. And now The Feelies are celebrating their 40th anniversary in a very local way, with a pair of Rent Party shows in Maplewood.
On June 10 and 11, the band will headline The Woodland in downtown Maplewood. The Feelies started in 1976 out of Haledon and were frequent headliners at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. Their initial run spawned four top-notch records (Crazy Rhythms, The Good Earth, Only Life and Time for a Witness), and after a long hiatus Stan Demeski, Glenn Mercer, Bill Million, Brenda Sauter and Dave Weckerman have gotten back into the business of rocking out live and recording new music.
These Maplewood shows are not the first time most members of The Feelies have helped the SOMA-based Rent Party raise money for local food pantries and initiatives to help food-insecure families—side-projects Wild Carnation, Yung Wu and The Trypes have played RP shows in the past—but it’s the first time Rent Party honcho Chris Dickson has been able to book the full band.
“It’s been about three years that we’ve been talking about this,” says Dickson, noting that having the spin-off bands join the Rent Party family was a big help. “There have been enough dotted-line connections that, ultimately, this had to work.”
Longtime fans and first-time Feelies folks can expect long sets of melodic, driving songs from the band’s catalog, with a smattering of cool covers throughout.