“Feel” Connects on American Tour
By Raymond Rolak
HAMTRAMCK– After a standing room only concert here at the PNA Concert Hall on Conant Avenue, the rock-pop band FEEL from Katowice, Poland had to rush off to play a gig in Chicago. The entourage took the train from Detroit to Chicago the next day to play The Club in Burbank, Illinois.
Post concert, FEEL was gracious after their Detroit performance and signed CD’s and posters and mingled with their supporters. With a few piwa’s to re-hydrate, after concert talk was primarily in Polish and the band members all knew that Techno-Music had its roots and history founded in Detroit.
The PNA Concert Hall in Hamtramck rocked as lead vocalist Piotr Kupicha wowed with an over two hour set and energized his audience while interfacing with the crowd. It was obvious that his on-stage presence connected with an all-age audience as “Feel” went through their repertoire of Polish hit songs.
The evening was a Polish musical showcase as local Polish-American rapper Dzejo started with a warm-up set and then Magda Kaminski got things really moving along. Kaminski did a few numbers from her CD, “This is Me.” The venue lent a good platform as Marcin Kindla showed off his warm but powerful vocals with some softer stylings. He also really connected with the primarily Polish crowd that rushed in to be front and center of the stage.
The presentations started late so the audience was ready. Emcee Rafal Nowakowski kept everyone informed so the attendance was anxious and anticipating the main attraction. “Feel” worked without a break and Kupicha had the audience wanting more as he did a couple of interaction numbers. The group sang all their popular Polish radio hits with two encores.
Before the concert Kupicha told me music was in his in his heritage as his grandfather, also Piotr, was a professional musician in Silesia. “Dzia-Dzia was a violinist,” he said in broken English. “So strings are in my bloodline,” he added smiling. He laughed even more with my broken Polish and the band members giggled with halting sign language augmentations. There was no barrier with communication though and we talked a bit about the international language of music. “Music is the global ambassador, I agree,” added the talented songwriter. Polish native Anya Nowakowski helped with the tougher translations and in depth questions. She was laughing with enthusiasm also. Idioms don’t get translated well sometimes.
While relaxing in the ready room Kupicha had questions about the Detroit Red Wings as most of the group knew about the local long time NHL ice-hockey success of this area. Group spokesman, Wojtek Grzesiok, told of the time a few years ago that former Polish hockey star Mariusz Czerkawski got Kupicha to play in a celebrity ice-hockey game in Poland. “No one expected Piotr to be so fast,” added Grzesiok. “Just like on the guitar, Piotr skated fast.”
In one of Kupicha’s songs he reached the audience with a soft staccato feel, “Listen-Listen,” he sang in Polish. It was colorful and touching to the audience. Offerings from their new CD “Feel-3” were front and center throughout the sets. An old favorite, “And When the Dusk Comes” got the crowd really moving (A gdy jest już ciemno).
Grzesiok said they had been looking forward to the Detroit date as it was the first time for “Feel” to play in this area. After this performance it won’t be the last. The only wrinkle in the evening was that the very popular Sebastian Riedel popped a disk in his back and was trying to recuperate at the band’s hotel. He wasn’t able to perform in Chicago either.
Local music promoters from Telewizja-Detroit and Kozi Vodka had the small concert ballroom set just right. Co-producer Tomasz Czuprynski said, “This is a great location and with this response we will do it again here.”
Hamtramck sausage provider Srodek’s was popular with the band and their post concert smoked sausage and pierogi offerings were well received. On this tour, “Feel” had previously played in New Britain, Connecticut, Brooklyn, New York and Passaic, New Jersey.
FEEL- Piotr Kupicha– Lead Vocals and Guitar, Łukasz Kożuch– Keyboard, Michał Nowak– Bass, Michał Opaliński– Percussion, Paweł Pawłowski- Guitar