Growing up, I was a huge fan of The Coreys. Haim and Feldman were my elementary school crushes, as a teen I still loved the movies but the 90’s and life in general was not always kind to the child actor combo, especially Haim. Corey Feldman on the other hand learned to manage his demons using the medium he was most familiar and comfortable with, entertainment. With a ridiculously long career as what most would consider a “B” list actor, continuously striving to be “A” list (although, he strikes me as the type that would say no, he is in fact “A” list) he is a dedicated professional to his craft who seems genuinely sweet but with a decent amount of “full of himself” type confidence. That confidence brings us to a musical project called Corey’s Angels on the Angelic Summer 2 Tour that made a stop in Philly last Thursday night for Philly’s Awesome Fest.
Corey Feldman has long been into music and considered Michael Jackson his mentor. He has worked consistently throughout the years in movies, videos, and of course the reality show with Haim, “The Two Coreys,” so he has always been able to fund and fuel this passion for music as well. Whether or not he should, well that’s debatable depending on how you look at it. I would like, ah, if I may…to take you on a strange journey.
It was a pretty sticky night on Thursday and The Gorillaz were playing Festival Pier but me and my girl Silver decided the super cool kids were going to the Underground Arts to see Corey Feldman and his Angels. It was off to a wildly good start as promotion on the thing failed to get the time right with the Facebook page showing a 7pm start time, we arrived at 8 thinking we’d be walking in on the openers but instead we found a line and a door guy that said they were running late, they’d be letting people in at 8. We got in line and they let us in around 8:20ish. After a few drinks, we enjoyed the first band, Goddamnit. A hometown crew with Creep Records, they had a kinda 90s alternative sound with punk influences. They were a great way to start the night that had a very nostalgic feel to it.
After about a 25 minute set, it was getting late and the crowd was ready for Corey. I’d like to point out that this fine establishment serves alcohol so the crowd was antsy, buzzed, and hot and starting to get restless, I’m not sure if that’s why the soundtrack suddenly took a very tropical turn. Eventually a dark haired woman in an “angel with a dark side” outfit brandishing a guitar came to the stage. She introduced herself as Corey’s costume designer and told us he was giving her the chance to come and do some songs. This is when things got strange. She was accompanied by a photographer who stayed intensely close to her throughout the set, to the point where I couldn’t figure out if she was going for a bunch of extreme close-ups or some weird paparazzi training for cameras in your face. She started off with a song about traffic and I kid you not, I immediately was taken to the food truck episode of Bob’s Burgers where there is a Tori Amos-esque parody character performing at a festival, she sounded just like that character. The song in the show was this intense piano number about oil slicks that were a metaphor, her opening song was an intense number about traffic. Yes, they’ve been on the road a lot and she was clearly feeling inspired. This acoustic set started before ten and went on for like 40 minutes. It wasn’t all the traffic song, but at times it felt like it. She switched it up and started doing an opera like thing and she started to lose the audience a bit. There may have been some rumblings of jeers, I may or may not have partaken a bit…
After that it was back to the Reggae boom town as we once again waited for Feldman who would finally make his way to the stage at the events advertised end time of 11. I’m not gonna lie, I had been up since 7am, worked a 9 hour day teaching in a barely air conditioned building and after a few hours of standing in the heat I was growing weary of this world. Then one of the greatest hype videos I’ve ever seen came on the screen to prepare us for the arrival of the man of the hour. What seemed like a ten minute video was like a detailed video resume of accomplishments, most of which were legit, some of which were the typical fluff you find on a resume like “original dance moves” and unnecessary name dropping of people like Paris Hilton for saying she liked his band. It was the perfect video montage summation of Corey Feldman’s career. The kind of video you’d see if someone was being honored at the Grammys or Golden Globes if that person was kinda full of himself and insisted on directing and making it themselves. It was nothing short of awesome and literally epic.
All decked out in his MJ finest, down to the hat and glove, he worked the small but spacious venue on Callowhill Street like it was a huge sold out stadium appearance. He literally had costume changes and a laser light show. Throughout the night he showcased the different Angels and their various talents continuously remarking on their beauty and how gorgeous they are which would have felt a lot less creepy if the emphasis wasn’t on their appearances. Songs from their album, along with showcasing each of the five Angels individually and lots of covers from various movies, like “Rock On” from Dream A Little Dream and “Rock Us Danny” from Rock and Roll High School to name a few.
The atmosphere and the tone of the night was definitely fun, Corey Feldman is, if nothing else a true entertainer and he definitely put on a well done show. There was definitely a disconnect there though as well. There was a pretty decent size crowd there, most people seemed to be 80s kids and teens there to see a former idol. Amongst that scene though seemed to be people that were there who genuinely liked the music and then the rest of us who were definitely not taking it as seriously. I couldn’t help but wonder though if he actually gets that. He’s so passionate and serious about what he does and the crowd was genuinely having a great time and cheering him on but it walked a fine line of him being the joke and we are having fun at his expense rather than it being a joke that we are all in on and there to have a good time with. Like I said the man is if nothing, an entertainer. Id honestly rather watch him perform live than in another movie any day. But I never took “Ascension Millennium” as serious. Sure it’s fun the same way Dick Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine are fun but does he see it that way?
The night got long and hotter. We had made some drunk lady friends and one of them kept using my sweat rag to stick on her head, no idea why she thought that was a good idea. Eventually Silver couldn’t hack anymore and made her way back to the car, I dropped not long after. Sadly, I missed Corey playing drums on a “Stand By Me” cover as well as “Go 4 It”, the song from the now infamous and viral Today Show appearance. My friend and fellow Corey lover Ivy Jo filled me in on what I missed and said she left around 1. I unfortunately could not hack it ‘til the end. The heat, the late night, and the best friend hair holding duties were not having it. I’m glad I got to see what I did and experience it for myself. It was all of the cheesy camp I could imagine and more. But again, does he know that?