Concert Review with PHOTOS: Feist

Photos by Brad Holland

Photos by Brad Holland

By Anya Whitlock

Artist: Feist

Date / Venue: Saturday November 25th - The Powerstation, Auckland

This time to Auckland Feist was touring her 5th studio album “Pleasure”. Although the gig didn’t sell out there were enough people to feel like it had and the atmosphere definitely felt like a bunker that people were very happy to be crowded into.

Cool sweet lyrical solo vocals was our first impression, closely followed by a slender frame dressed in a matching blouse and long skirt fashioned out of a funky magenta tablecloth from my Nana’s craft stall. Then, just as I began to wonder why she had a bright yellow and black Les Paul Special at her fingertips rather than a harp, BAM! Punchy energised percussive guitar shocked its way into the Powerstation and we were introduced to the title track off her touring album "Pleasure".

Lights up on the rest of the stage and we’re introduced to the rest of the band. Two super talented wooden and quite boring hipsters on keys, synth, bass, violin and percussion and Lucky Paul. Paul is a native Aucklander and was lively, exceptionally talented and clearly adored by his home crowd. All members had a mic which helped to flesh out the vocals into some beautiful choral-like crescendos, Feist's use of vocal looping was also very interesting.

Second song in "I wish I Didn’t Miss You" brought a changing of axes to a rustic looking raw muffled acoustic with pick up. The main body of the set was laden with effortless soaring lyrics that were bang on pitch which really is what she’s known for. What was a nice surprise was her clever experimental distorting of voice with various filters and effects- A tremolo effect in particular made for some spine chilling moments.

At one point she asked us to think of an old dream - one that didn’t happen even though we really wanted it to. She then asked us to hold it in our minds over the next 6 1/2 mins and we were going to let it go. She then broke into a great version of “Lost Dreams”, punctuated by some technical difficulties which she effortlessly turned into quick witted, quirky bridges. Feist really has a knack for taking people on a journey and its a rare combination to have an easeful, enjoyable personality as well as having that much musical talent.

As with most artists touring new albums they saved the old favourites until the end “My Moon My Man”, “Sea Lion Woman”- a Nina Simone cover, and “I Feel It All” to name a few. For an encore we were treated to much loved versions of “Mushaboom”, “Gatekeeper” and “1234”.

Overall the concert had a well thought out and good balance of the floaty and whimsical sonnets punctuated by harder rock driven songs. Most singers working in this genre want to be Beth Orton, but Feist is so clearly happy just being herself. It’s a real treat to see a strong artist completely inhibiting herself and the stage and leaving the crowd with a surprisingly intimate musical experience.