Some things change, and some things stay the same. This month, I kicked off my ninth calendar year here in Nashville, which means it's been more than 100 months since the first person I met in town said "The Features are my favorite local band." And for nearly that same length of time - since the first time I heard "Walk You Home," and certainly since I first saw them perform at Exit/In - I've been able to say the exact same thing.
It's not that other Nashville bands haven't earned my love and adoration. It's just that the Features consistently churn out pop perfection - song after excellent, catchy song. I've seen them dozens of times, I've listened to their albums endlessly, and I still can't imagine getting sick of seeing them on stage or hearing them in my headphones. Even in a year like 2011, where my interest in music dropped to a dangerously low level, their newest album Wilderness was a beacon in the fog of mediocrity and 101.1 The Beat Jamz I found myself surrounded by. (Hey, I lost my gig as a DJ and did a little musical branching out.)
This Saturday, The Features return to the Mercy Lounge for what will almost definitely be a sold-out show (last I heard there were only about 40 tickets left). It'll be my first show of 2012 and an opportunity to hear some of the Wilderness tunes live again - they haven't been in rotation for very long, and I've only seen the band once (at the album release) since I scored a copy of the album last year. Maybe I'll get to hear "Offer Up" live for the first time? Fingers crossed.
So where will this show put my Features live tally? I lost count ages ago. And while it may baffle some that I continue to see the same band, over and over, dozens of times, my only explanation is that it never gets old. I go to almost every Features show in Nashville for the same reason I could listen to their catalog on repeat for a full day and not get sick of it. Nearly nine years after I first moved to Nashville, I feel the same way about my favorite Nashville band as I do about this town - it just feels like home.