With a keyboardist, a drummer, a guitar/trumpet player and three back-up singers, Leslie Feist played Massey hall last night, Thursday Dec 1st. Her music is generally subdued, and the majority of the audience was over thirty, so I was expecting to stay in my seat and maybe rock back and forth a bit.This changed when, during ‘Commotion’, off her new album Metals, an old man with an impressive beard stood up and started what Feist deemed ‘an interpretive dance-off’. By the time she’d started ‘My Moon My Man’ — a faster, reworked version of the 2008 hit, about forty of us audience members were up on the stage. We stayed there for the rest of the evening, mostly sitting cross-legged, but occasionally dancing. Feist, the great performer that she is, was never phased by anything.
Feist mostly played songs off of Metals, but pleased the audience by reworking some older, more familiar songs. In a great slow rendition of ‘Mushaboom’ she had the whole audience singing along as back-up vocals. As an encore, she played ‘Honey Honey’, ‘Sea Lion Woman’ and ‘Caught a Long Wind’; the whole of Massey Hall was filled with nightingale impressions from the audience. When she re-exited, we cheered and chanted and stomped on the stage until she came back alone to give us an impromptu solo version of ‘intuition’. Her voice is even more haunting on stage than it is in her albums.
I am still amazed by how Feist has been able to come back from an album as popular as The Reminder. She managed to go the whole concert without playing ‘1234’, and nobody protested. She is a fluid musician, constantly surprising us with new arrangements and compositions.