As multi-color lights flash and bounce off the reflection of a Saturn-shaped disco ball, four long-haired musicians take the stage Friday night at the Gold Room. Their sound soon fills the dark room of the coffee shop-turned-concert venue. The small but engaged crowd of Thin Line Festival goers take it all in.
Four musicians, Gage Bridges, lead singer and keyboard player, guitarist Matt Frandsen, bass player Cameron Cianelli and drummer Brendan Flanagan, make up Blue Feel, a North Texas-based psychedelic rock band.
Bridges, 20, Frandsen, 21, and Cianelli, 21, all from Plano, formed the band in 2019 while they were seniors at Plano Senior High School. The three were originally in different bands that competed against each other.
“There was a competing rivalry [between the] bands, and we were like, ‘Why don’t we just flesh them [out]?’” Frandsen said. “So, then we formed [Blue Feel], and here we are.”
The three band members started out living in Plano and doing shows in Deep Ellum before moving to Denton. After their move to Denton, Flanagan, a media arts sophomore at the university, joined as the drummer in 2021.
This year is Blue Feel’s first appearance at Thin Line Festival, but the band has performed at other festivals around the DFW area, including the Mystical Market in McKinney. Flanagan said Thin Line is unique compared to other festivals because there are multiple music acts performing at the same time at venues across Denton and it is the only festival the band has performed at that has film screenings.
“I think Denton is trying to do many things kind of like [South by Southwest] to boost the music here, so that’s really cool,” Bridges said.
Despite this being the band’s first Thin Line appearance and performance at the Gold Room venue, their performance showed no signs of hesitation. The hour-long set was high energy and full of headbanging from start to finish and fans could be heard screaming messages of adoration at the band members in between songs.
At one point, the band did a cover of a song by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, which resulted in Bridges falling to the ground during a guitar solo by Frandsen and a pause between songs to clean up spilled drinks onstage. In addition to the cover, the band also played songs from their 2021 album “The Environment” and their upcoming album “March of the Crimson Crabs.”
“March of the Crimson Crabs” is a concept album with 12 songs and double long plays. Along with the new album, the band’s first music video will premiere on YouTube at the same time.
“We went inside of an abandoned church and demolished the living shit out of it and wrote very blasphemous things and made a music video out of it,” Bridges said.
“March of the Crimson Crabs” will be released April 20 at 4:20 p.m. in all time zones.
Featured Image: Blue Feel plays at the Gold Room for Thin Line Fest on March 25, 2022. Photo by Abigail Mueller