If you saw Corey Feldman performing a song from his new album Angelic 2 the Core on the Today Show, you might have gotten hooked on what appears to be one of the worst career moves ever pulled by an ex-celebrity. And if you enjoy watching disasters, then you may have kept up with Corey and his Angels touring the US to promote his new “music.” That tour brought him here to NOLA to play at Southport Music Hall.
Corey Feldman, as most people know, is a former child actor that had an immensely successful beginning in Hollywood. He starred in many high-grossing films such as Gremlins, The Goonies, The Lost Boys, and Dream a Little Dream. His role was almost always “the cool kid,” sporting the trendiest and edgiest 80’s attire for teens to emulate. He was adored by many and emancipated himself from his parents at the age of 15. He didn’t handle the fame terribly well, though, as he struggled with drugs and apparently molestation in the early 90’s.
After getting clean and returning to films in a large amount of small roles and projects, he also started a band called Corey Feldman’s Truth Movement that had a US tour. By the late 90’s, his Hollywood career had begun to fizzle out and most of his appearances were cameos or voice-overs. He released more music as a solo artist with the album Corey Feldman: Former Child Actor, which he advertised with a second US tour. He had a child with his second wife Susie Sprague in the 2000’s, and married for a third time in 2016 to Courtney Anne Mitchell, who is now one of the Angels in his new band, Corey’s Angels.
Feldman describes Corey’s Angels as a “360 management development and production entity” for lost girls who need guidance. The only problem is that it started as a flattering attempt to steal Hugh Hefner’s process of collecting gorgeous women and surrounding himself with them. Corey’s Angels began as an agency that promoted the girls with parties very similar to the ones at the Playboy Mansion, where Corey boasts to have spent so much time that he was basically “raised” there. Vice wrote a very nasty article, revealing the nature of the Corey’s Angels parties, which led to Feldman ceasing this technique of promotion and beginning a new claim that the entity’s purpose was to combat the Hollywood nature of chewing up vulnerable girls and spitting them out. Corey swears that the industry is full of predators who take advantage of women with dreams simply because of their looks and turn them into objects of sex. Now, understand, Feldman’s approach to counteract this Hollywood blood-sucking is to find beautiful girls with aspirations of being more than models, maybe being actresses or musicians, and take them under his wing. As backwards as it sounds, it is. Corey’s Angels are literally playboy girls who wanted more, so they latched onto an imploding star who promised them the world. Now instead of settling to be models, they dawn sexy, furry angel costumes and play Feldman’s music, while also adhering to a lifestyle of loyalty, free of meat and alcohol, and frequently living with Corey. All in all, it just seems like Feldman wanted a noble excuse to be hanging out with loads of young, pretty women. He’s “helping” them.
It wouldn’t be nearly as hard of a pill to swallow, if Feldman’s music wasn’t absolutely terrible. The art direction alone for the album Angelic 2 the Core is what you would expect to find in the mind of a 12-year-old. It’s cheesy and generic. The cover art (depicting Feldman being pulled from the chasms of Hell by two of his angels) looks like it could have been done by Feldman himself on MS Paint. The music is even worse than the imagery surrounding it. Corey’s original songs are bizarre, yet formulaic mimicry of genres that fell off the map around the time that he did. Tacky electronic elements fused with soulless alternative pop.
His performances have been receiving a lot of attention on the internet because of his apparent inability to maintain a collected stage presence. Videos have gone viral of him playing songs out of tune, or just clumsily, as well as making mistakes on stage such as smashing his face into the mic stand and knocking out teeth. Mistakes so bad that they almost seem to be publicity stunts with the purpose of drawing a larger crowd. And honestly, they may have succeeded.
The turnout at Southport Hall was rather impressive. The whole floor was filled with what seemed to be 90% onlookers hoping for catastrophe, and 10% fans of 80’s pop culture hoping to relive their glory days. The set began with the Angels playing Corey onto the stage. He was dressed in a leather jacket with matching sequin fedora and pants. They began with the first track from Angelic 2 the Core, “Ascension Millennium,” a wack, EDM-based positive vibe party song. The rest of the set featured a mixture of originals and covers of tunes from the movies he starred in, including his own original tribute song to the other Corey, Corey Haim. The covers may have been the best idea Feldman had about the tour, because if it had been all originals, people might have left early, which they did anyway.
One thing that would make his project seem less legit would be if the girls weren’t truly musicians, merely girls who picked up music to tag along for the joyride. This of course was Corey’s biggest insecurity, which he made known by immediately denouncing said accusations of internet trash-talkers. To disprove this, he stepped offstage for each cover song and let every Angel take the lead on one. However, most would agree that this backfired, because the Angels were quite mediocre musicians, the bassist being the worst and hardly playing at all, and their voices were all very average. The only Angel with any real talent, was the guitarist, Jimena, who is the newest member of the band after the first guitarist quit. She wowed all the non-musician fans by playing a mashup of 80’s guitar riffs and solos, based with Van Halen’s “Eruption.” It wasn’t very impressive, though, when you consider that these are the riffs she most likely practices every day in her bedroom.
Having been on this tour for a couple months now, most of the kinks have been worked out, so there weren’t too many onstage mishaps. Corey Feldman’s stage presence was reminiscent to that of “Weird Al” Yankovic. His actions brought smiles and laughter to the audience, and he had nearly as many costume changes as the parody king. However, his dance moves all seem to be inspired by Michael Jackson, who was inspired by Bob Fosse. In addition to several costumes similar to those worn by Jackson, he even covered Michael’s “Man in the Mirror,” poorly. And as inspired as Corey’s dance moves were, they were not executed properly. It was honestly surprising to see Feldman making so many tributes to someone he has actually blamed for damage to his life and career. Also, his behavior was still indicative of one used to the pampered lifestyle of celebrity status, like his constant dissatisfaction with the volume of his vocals, which was a issue of projection, not amplification. Feldman’s voice has gone very scraggly over the years, so projecting and singing are not really his strong suits. This was true even in 1989, as proven by the dubbing over his real voice in the end credits of Dream a Little Dream.
So what lead him to start a musical career? Maybe it was his Michael Jackson/Bob Fosse-inspired "Coreyography". It’s wasn’t. Maybe it was his instrumental skills. It’s wasn’t. Perhaps Corey Feldman just thought “I wanna be a rockstar. How hard can it be?” For the first time all night, he picked up a guitar to play the set’s final song. The song was an original titled “Gotta Walk Away,” which Feldman butchered by playing the chords improperly, eventually just turning off his guitar’s volume and pretending to play. His excuse was that his guitar “must be out of tune.” The composition itself was incredibly tasteless and juvenile, very representative of the entire evening. Even though one was planned, there was no encore. All that remained of the audience lined up for the meet and greet at $70 a head. One can only hope that this circus of delusion will go away when the tour ends in early August. It’s near impossible to imagine that the hip, class clown characters Feldman portrayed in films would respond with anything other than laughter if you told them this was their destiny.