RON HARTMAN/CHRONICLE PHOTO - Sequel performs this past Friday at the Axe & Fiddle.

COTTAGE GROVE – For the Eugene-based band Sequel, there’s something about the Axe & Fiddle that keeps them coming back for more.

“There’s a community here that you feel when you walk in, it feels like a pub, like an English Pub,” said drummer Beau Eastlund, a Springfield resident. “You can tell there’s a lot of history here and it’s a warm feeling. And the sound here is way better than you would expect based on how the room is spread out.” 

“I call this place ‘The Watering Hole,’” said keyboard/vocalist Geena Glaser, a part-time Cottage Grove resident. “Oftentimes, music venues we play are more like bars where people are accidentally there because they want to get a couple drinks with their friends, but this is a place where people come at the end of their day because it’s the community watering hole, and you can feel it. … We all feel like family between these walls.”

Added guitar player/vocalist Josh Heying: “There’s a sense of appreciation that you feel here that’s really strong.”

They should be appreciative … because Sequel puts on one of the best shows in Lane County. They call themselves a psychedelic groove rock band, but that’s underselling them. 

The band actually had two members drop out during the pandemic, but the remaining four members say they all love playing in a band together … and going through hard times only solidified that love. 

“Yeah, Sequel was like a lifeline, all of us had no idea what was going on,” Glaser said. “It was super scary, we were relying on the basic things that gave us nourishment and some sense of security.

“We had to look very deeply and say, does this really make sense? Is this OK? And we said we need to do this. And this was a saving grace. There are a lot of very hard things about being alive, but this band got together every Tuesday and every Sunday, and we made music and everything was a little bit more OK.”

“As performers and not having an audience (during the pandemic) it’s like making a big meal and not having anybody there to enjoy it,” Eastlund said.  

Sequel was glad to serve up hits from its upcoming new full-length album, as well as songs from its two previous EPs. And for dessert, the evening ended memorably, with a smooth version of “Misdirected” followed by Leon Russell’s “Stranger in a Strange Land.” 

“After Covid we forged ahead and we stumbled upon this sound that we really liked,” Heying said. “It was more pared down and more free and had more room to extend and kind of live in a groove and enjoy the feeling for a while. We try to do what the songs want to do.”