Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Concert Review: Feist in Columbus, Ohio

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite vocalists, Feist, live at the Wexner Center. The Wexner Center, as a venue, is not a rock setting, but it's definitely great for performances. The acoustics are possibly the best I've experienced at any venue.

The Low Anthem opened, playing a folky and Bob Dylan-esque set.

The Low Anthem

Having never heard The Low Anthem before, I was very impressed. They have a warm, rich sound and definitely know their way around musical instruments and concepts. I've never seen the saw played onstage before, and would love to again.

Feist and her band took the stage after a short wait and jumped right in with "A Commotion." I liked the live version of "A Commotion" much better than the album one. Such was not the case with "How Come You Never Go There," which was for some reason sped up immensely, so that it was almost unrecognizable. They carried some of the tribal sounds from Metals over to a version of "Mushaboom" with heavy drum beats.


Things began to sound more like the Feist of the earlier albums with "The Circle Married The Line," which I think is one of best songs from Metals, followed by "I'm Sorry." They played "Graveyard" in a style much more similar to something from Let It Die, flowing into a haunting "My Moon My Man," with a keyboard part far more unsettling than the album version. The whole song was played in a very rocky and somewhat staccato style unlike (but not worse than) the album version.

"I Feel It All" was made far more upbeat, causing most of the audience to stand and dance or clap. For some reason, it was performed twice, to no one's disappointment. Next up were three more songs from Metals; "Anti-Pioneer," "Bittersweet Memories," and "Undiscovered First." "Bittersweet Memories" turned out to be a fairly moving performance.


They played a version of "The Limit to Your Love" in which the beats were made more prominent and heavier. Afterwards, Feist drew attention to the backing vocalists, a trio called Mountain Man. Mountain Man performed a short song acapella, and then the band returned with "The Bad In Each Other," which, like "I Feel It All," they chose to play twice.

They closed the set with three more songs from Metals; the lovely and tragic "Comfort Me," "Caught a Long Wind," and a surprisingly beautiful "Get It Wrong, Get It Right."


For the encore, they opened back up with "Cicadas and Gulls." During the song, the bass/keyboard player danced topless backstage and was projected onto the background screen. Much of the audience and some of the band found it difficult to concentrate on the song with the interpretive dancing going on. Next, they played "Sea Lion Woman" from The Reminder, which was essentially everything I hoped for. The show concluded with a keys-riddled "Let It Die."

Seeing as I was not a huge fan of Metals, and the entire album was dispersed through the set, I was quite impressed with the show. Feist is a good performer who is lively onstage and able to engage the audience well. Her band and Mountain Man are also able to hold their own in terms of talent. I wouldn't recommend Feist if you're looking for a rock show, but she certainly gives a good performance.

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