Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Feist Concert Review

Being a full time touring musician makes going to see a live show a little different for me I think. I'm always at concerts, thing is they are usually ones I'm playing in! So to get to sit back and remember what it's like to be an audience member is great.

We had seats in the center of the front row of the mezzanine at Center in the Square in Kitchener ON. They were great seats considering I just picked them up the morning of the show. The show started with another Canadian act called Great Lake Swimmers. The vocalist had a sort of Sufjan-esque quality to his sound and the music could even be considered in the same genre as Sufjan, very organic, musical, real. Their bass player played an upright bass and they used a pump organ at one point. I really appreciated how their use of real instruments and how everything I heard was being produced from stage. A great opening for Feist.

The thing I really loved about Feist's performance is how simple and organic it all seemed. As you can see from the picture the stage only has instruments on it. There are no props and hardly anything noticeable in the way of lights. Then on the screen behind them there was not one piece of pre-recorded video. And only once in the show I was at was there video of anyone on stage. Even then it was just a simple shot of the kick drum pedal. The only other thing projected on the screen was a sort of shadow puppet type of thing that was all being created live. It's hard to explain and it was also hard to figure out how it was all happening which made it even more cool and unique. Here's a video clip of one of her songs with the shadows going on in the background.

Leslie Feist's vocals were spot on all night. And her guitar playing was great! When she spoke she was funny and endearing. She made sure we knew she was home grown here in Canada and that always wins over an audience. Her band members were great musicians. I'm not sure how many instruments I saw them all play but 4 guys covered everything from upright piano to flugel horn to saxophone to vibes to flute and even some pretty convincing sounding background vocals that often achieved a sound similar to the album. There was a sense of camaraderie between everyone on stage and when Feist brought out Great Lake Swimmers at the end it seemed like they were all a happy family.

All in all it was a great show. If you are considering going, go! Live is best and this performance was all live. Hopefully next time I see Feist it's not in an arena although I wouldn't be surprised with how well she is doing. Here is one of Apple's latest ipod ads that features a Feist song and video. I've gotta say that it makes me proud to see all this great music coming out of Canada and it reminds me that I need to get out and see live shows more often!




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