A few weeks ago someone asked me if I would have seen Corey Feldman & The Angels in Green Bay back in March (because that was a thing I did) had I known they would play in my hometown of Milwaukee a few months later. “No,” I quickly replied. Everyone laughed. And why not? After all, the Green Bay show required me to rent a car, drive 120 miles both ways, and wrestle with the fact that I was renting a car and driving 120 miles both ways to see a Corey Feldman concert, by myself. All this because Feldman had made something of a spectacle of himself on the Today show, and I was curious to see if he had indeed “lost his mind” or if he was more self-aware than he was letting on. Sadly, the headline of my eventual review said it all: “I saw Corey Feldman & The Angels in Green Bay and, well, I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
But now, after having seen Corey Feldman & The Angels play in Milwaukee—Wednesday night at Shank Hall, to be exact—I’m glad I made the Green Bay pilgrimage. It prepared me for what I saw last night, prepared me for the confounding spectacle of a Corey Feldman show, and prepared me for finally giving in and not giving a shit about whether Feldman is still serious about this whole “music” thing. Call it Corey Feldman Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love “Ascension Millennium.”
But let’s not bury the lede: At last night’s show, Corey Feldman accidentally smashed himself in the mouth with a microphone and totally lost a tooth. And then he spent a good chunk of time looking for said tooth. The GG Allin-style #toothgate occurred roughly 30 minutes into the show, somewhere in the midst of a scorching take on the Dream A Little Dream track “Something In Your Eyes” (co-written by “Rock On” cover singer Michael Damian). I live-streamed the whole show, spending much data in the process. (Hey Mikey, gotta go to the bathroom?) Here’s the moment in question:
And here’s the moment via TMZ, who were extremely pleasant to work with:
So, before we go any further, let me restate some things from my last review. I like Corey Feldman. I’m rooting for Corey Feldman. In fact…
I’m perfectly happy to admit that I grew up idolizing Corey Feldman. Along with Michael J. Fox, Corey Feldman represented something of an ideal ’80s kid to me: cool and cocky—with a full head of hair and a shit-eating grin—but still an outsider. Sure, Corey Feldman was a badass vampire killer in The Lost Boys, but he was also a comic book nerd and a headband-wearing weirdo. Yeah, he was kicking a Members Only jacket and a Purple Rain T-shirt in The Goonies, but he was still, you know, one of the Goonies. He was both me (an outsider) and something I could one day hope to be (cool).
Yeah, Feldman eventually blocked me on Twitter (he joins such luminaries as Charlie Sykes and Sheriff Clarke) and called me a “total deusche,” but I didn’t take it personally. Dude has plenty of other shit to worry about than some dope writing a (remarkably fair and generous) review of a random show at a random bar across the street from Lambeau Field. Also, I’ve knocked a tooth out a few times (once on a bologna sandwich) and it sucks. I feel for you, Corey.
So what else happened at last night’s Corey Feldman show, a show I’m just going to go ahead and call the show of his life? Well…
• Feldman and his Angels were nearly an hour late. Following a brilliant opening set from Milwaukee’s Rio Turbo (more on that in a bit), a woman named Poeina took the stage with a guitar, introduced herself as both Feldman’s costume designer and an “emergency opener,” and explained that Feldman and the band were “still trying to eat.”
• Yes, he eventually opened with “Ascension Millennium,” and yes, he was dressed like Michael Jackson. A cover of “Man In The Mirror” later in the set (post-tooth) was a legit highlight, as was a heartfelt tribute to the late Corey Haim. He also played “Tutti Frutti.” And a ton of stuff from his albums. The Angels were once again a solid backing band, and Feldman once again gave it his all. He went 4 it.
• Speaking of the Angels, the best performance of the night was when Feldman was backstage tending to his tooth. The Angels broke off a terrific cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited,” sending the Corey-less crowd into a frenzy. Sadly, a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough”—courtesy of Angel Courtney Anne, a.k.a. Feldman’s wife—was pretty iffy.
• Ditto the part where Feldman played drums and sang “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.”
• Did I mention that Corey Feldman accidentally knocked his tooth out? And that he spent a lot of time looking for it on stage? And, oh yeah, the tooth was eventually found. By a woman in the crowd named Christina. (Please email me, Christina!) Also, Feldman soldiered on like a champ.
There was other controversy, as well. As mentioned, opening the show was Rio Turbo, an electro party band that blurs the line between performance art and sweaty club jams. The group’s all-too-brief set was everything something like a Corey Feldman & The Angels set should be: fun, sexy, positive, and ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek. The group’s final number was a lip-synched performance of “Unchained Melody,” which was hilarious and kind of touching. Feldman, however, saw it as a dig: Deep into his set, he blasted his critics, and blasted Rio Turbo for supposedly mocking him with their lip-synched number. The band appeared stunned. Supportive calls of “RIO TURBO” emanated from the crowd for the rest of the show.
Overall, Feldman’s show was much tighter than the one I witnessed in Green Bay. He didn’t tool around the stage on a hoverboard this time, but the two-hour set moved along at a nice clip (except for the tooth part), and the crowd certainly got their $20 worth. Was it good? Again, not really. Was it fun? Yeah, it was more fun this time around. Was it the show of Feldman’s life? Sure, why not. Like I said the last time:
But you know what? I still give Feldman a ton of credit. He gave it his all [Wednesday] night. Dude played a rock star for an hour and a half and seemed to be having fun. He went 4 it. And if he came up short? Well, maybe it’s something he’ll never shake: the cool and cocky kid—older now, but still with a full head of hair—forever an outsider, forever looking for a way (back) in.
So props to Corey Feldman for putting on a fun Wednesday night show in Milwaukee, and sacrificing a veneer in the process. Here’s the whole thing:
Corey Feldman, live at Shank Hall
Posted by Milwaukee Record on Wednesday, June 28, 2017