Disappointment manifests itself in many different ways. This is very true of concerts, where disappointment can come in forms as mundane as not getting to hear your favorite song and as outlandish as the artist you paid money to see showing up in no shape to perform. No one walks into a show free of expectation, which means no one walks out free of an opinion on what he or she saw.
For most people, seeing Corey Feldman live will be a disappointment. For his Feldfans, the show is a dream. For the rest, it is not the train wreck you hoped it would be. It’s a show where the good can be best described as “fourth place at karaoke night”-level and the bad is something you never want to experience again. If this were a show where Corey Feldman played the role of rock star, it would probably be a pretty great night out. Instead, this is a show in which Corey Feldman thinks he’s a rock star, and it mostly just feels like floating through a sonic smudge of originals you’ve never heard, songs from movie soundtracks you don’t remember and cover songs that have no place in the set.
There are bad things in this show, things that make you turn to your neighbor almost in disbelief that they’re happening. At one point Feldman leaves the stage so his backing band, a group of women who are incredibly talented yet stuck performing in bralettes and angel wings to help Feldman better live out his rock-star fantasy, can play an amazing cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie” in a visual/audio moment so at odds with each other you can’t do much more than blink and let it hit you. There’s a point where Feldman plays drums poorly and the rest of the band has to try to make this version of “Stand By Me” sound like a real song. The less said about the abysmal cover of “The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough,” the better.
But those bad moments are not the problem with the show. No, the problem with the show is that Feldman never winks to the crowd to let them know he knows how silly it is. It’s not that he plays it completely straight because there’s no role to play: You’re getting 100 percent unfiltered Corey Feldman straight to the brain, and that’s significantly less fun that you might imagine.
It’s like going to the zoo thinking you’re going to watch the monkeys dance for your amusement, only for them to sit there and flip you off. There’s no train wreck because Corey Feldman isn’t a train wreck; he’s just a guy who wants to get onstage and have a good time.
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For most people that will be disappointing. For most people it was disappointing. When Corey took the stage at the start of the show, the room was packed, front to back, side to side. People were yelling, people were jumping. If you were in the back, you could barely see the man of the hour. But then the show rolled on. And everything was so serious, even when the songs weren’t. And everything was so genuine even when it was bad. Then the people started to leave.
Soon you could stretch out a little bit in the back of the room. Then you could see the faces of people as they walked out, not planning on returning, a look of bewilderment on their faces that Feldman wasn’t the complete disaster they thought he might be. Then half the crowd was gone, then two-thirds. In the end, it was a dedicated group of fans in front of the stage and a handful of stragglers in the back, intent on getting every cent they could out of their concert ticket.
And at the end, because a show like this could end no other way, Feldman talked about how we all need to chase our dreams and if we believe, we could do anything. He would know. He had spent the last two hours living out his rock-star ambitions. He just went places with it the audience didn’t want to go. And in that moment, I couldn’t help but wonder how disappointing that might be to him.