Feist, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Tue 27 Mar 2012
Stunning concert from the Canadian alt.folkie
‘Wan, two, freee, fourr’, some gentleman gargles towards the end of Feist’s second encore. Without thinking, she laughs it off before ending on a heartbreakingly beautiful solo run of ‘Intuition’ from 2007’s The Reminder. It’s pin-drop silence throughout, save for hushed backing vox from a brave few in the crowd and everyone is left stunned, but ultimately satisfied.
However, it’s not until it’s all over that the impact of this subtly strong statement takes hold. Think about it, ‘1-2-3-4’ is arguably the reason most of the people in this room even heard of her in the first place five/six years ago thanks to its corporate pimping, courtesy of Apple. Yet, Feist and band still manage to fill nearly two hours with incredible ensemble performances, impeccable arrangements, flawless instrument-swapping and a punch-drunk visual aesthetic that is utterly transfixing, all while simply ditching the hugest and most recognisable song of her career.
It’s a salute to her strength as a songwriter as well as a fist-bump to the faithful who have followed her since. As sweet, summery and catchy as that-song-from-the-iPod-advert may be, anyone who enjoys her music is still utterly spoilt for choice without it, and boy does she know it too.
Backed up by sublime vocal trio Mountain Man and a team of multi-tasking musical accomplices – including Broken Social Scene cohort Charles Spearin – Feist confidently storms through a catalogue of varying moods and alternative arrangements, complete with exploding bursts of light, video and collage.
From the opening bonged-out tribal rendition of ‘Mushaboom’ to the crowd-aided three-part harmony that pipes in ‘So Sorry’ or the pounding, organ-led power of a reinvigorated ‘My Moon, My Man’, the whole show is so well honed and tour-worn that it’ll take an army of dentists to clamp these jaws shut.
There are quick hits (‘Past in Present’, ‘I Feel It All’), ambitiously layered new material from last year’s Metals, (‘The Bad In Each Other’, ‘How Come You Never Go There’) and then there are jam band-esque 8-minute epics carved out of already existing greats like ‘Sea Lion Woman’. Make no bones about it; this is no cutesy phone-advert friendly folk throwback, this is a righteous and energized woman with no boundaries on her creative appetite and long may she continue to knock us on our asses.