Feist’s Sunday, April 20, performance at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium was energetic, visually stimulating and extremely exciting. Infused with smoky charisma, her dynamic harmonies and seductive nature transformed the auditorium. She has a graceful, commanding stage presence; and once she began to sing, her raspy, sexy voice captured nothing less that the audience’s complete attention.
Feist first appeared as a dark silhouette framed behind a white sheet placed at the edge of the stage, invoking a sense of mystique that lingered throughout the concert. She began with a set of songs from her most recent album, The Reminder, an album that earned the artist (born Leslie Feist) two Juno awards earlier this year.
From the first sultry chords of “I’m Sorry,” it became clear that Feist is even more powerful live than she is on her album. Every note of her voice, every inflection and breath filled the space with hypnotizing melodies.
By her fifth song, Feist decided that a seated show wasn’t really working for her. “Ignore what security says and stand up if you want to!” she announced. Within minutes, the crowded theater began to push forward — making their way closer to the stage and closer to the music. Here — clustered at the front of the stage — friends, couples and strangers danced for the duration of the show. “It’s a real gig now! Look at you, you are beautiful!” said Feist, satisfied.
From slow love songs to rhythmic rock, Feist’s range blends power with sensitivity in a dynamic cascade of sound. In addition to performing songs from The Reminder, she also performed songs from her other albums, such as 2004’s Let It Die, as well as songs she recorded with Canadian musical collective Broken Social Scene.
To compliment the mood of the performance, shadow figures and painted transparencies were projected behind the stage. These visual stories, each created live and made to accompany a specific song, were atmospheric and beautifully subtle.
Opening for Feist was the acoustic, indie-rock artist Hayden, a Canadian musician with a bold personality. Hayden performed a series of quirky songs, one of which was about his cat’s late-night escapades in the back yard. His light-hearted lyrics and charming character warmed the stage. Though his performance was strong, his work faded compared to Feist’s passionate show.
— Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt, listings assistant