Los Angeles - Just a few weeks ago the Troubadour night club hosted one of the biggest comebacks in music history when Axl Rose and Slash performed on stage together for the first time in over two decades. Despite being one of the most heralded guitarists in rock history, just a few days later, The Wild Feathers may have upstaged Slash. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but touring guitarist Daniel Denado made it feel like there were two shows going on that night: one featuring the delicate folk-influenced vocal melodies of lead singers Ricky Young, Joel King, and Taylor Burns, and the other a wailing solo extravaganza courtesy of Denado. The band performed as a six piece, with drummer Ben Dumas plus an additional keyboardist and percussionist.
Just last month, the Nashville band released its sophomore full-length, Lonely is a Lifetime, and BNB had the chance to talk with drummer Dumas about the process behind creating the album. The record is a pleasant blend of classic rock energy, folk rock melodies, and alternative country atmospheres. The choruses have an anthemic quality that is buoyed by the alternating vocals of the three lead singers. While the record is solid, the best possible way to experience the music of The Wild Feathers is clearly live. The tempos are upped a bit, the vocals are delivered with more intensity, and can it be repeated, those insane solos! There are some basic guitar solos on Lonely is a Lifetime, but it is clear that songwriting is the band’s forte, not instrumental virtuosity. Denado added blazing and deafening solos that elevated the experience without distracting from the songs at hand. It must be emphasized once again just how loud the band, especially Denado, was. It was so thunderous that a few songs into the set several front row spectators took a step back to recover from the dizzying guitar work.
The sextet cycled through the best songs on the band’s two LPs. “Overnight” – a single from Lonely is a Lifetime - displayed how effective the layering of three singers’ lead vocals can be in a live setting. “Happy Again” began with dueling guitar leads, before breaking into a stomping chorus that blended elements of blues, country, pop and even punk. Even when the band slowed things down, it was able to keep the audience captivated, with “Goodbye Song” and “Lonely is a Lifetime” allowing the audience transition from dancing and bouncing to slowly swaying with the beat.
Towards the end of the set, King announced that it was Denado’s 21st birthday, remarking how cool it is for him to be spending this momentous celebration at the Troubadour and melting everyone’s faces. And of course, every 21st birthday requires bottles be popped, and the venue was happy to comply as a bouncer “spritzed” the audience with a bottle of champagne. The Wild Feathers displayed why it’s one of the most exciting groups in the in the alternative rock scene, capable of writing memorable songs and able to back those songs up live in extraordinary fashion.
Catch The Wild Feathers as the band finishes up a U.S. tour in support of Lonely is a Lifetime. European fans have only once chance to see them when they play at Matinales El Pais on May 14. Get tickets at the band’s website tour page.
Photo of The Wild Feathers live in Milwaukee by Sarah Hess for Best New Bands.