Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: 1,2,3,4 then we got a lot more: Feist @ The Harborfront

I feel i should start off this music review with 2 important notes. 1) Walking into the harbor last night, i wasn't the biggest Feist fan in the world. I thought they were very good, but i was a casual listener. 2) I have seen over 500 musical performances in my couple decades on this earth, so this is not my first time at the rodeo.

With that out of the way, i'd like to say one thing: Wow.

I walked in a casual listener, and i walked out a bonafide Feist fan. The vocal complexities she displayed were truly impressive. I had the pleasure of seeing Florence + The Machine last summer, and what Florence is to pure vocal power, Feist is to range and dynamics. Not to mention her 3 backup singers all were great singers too. It's almost not fair how many good female voices are in this band. From the lowest of lows and highest of highs, from strong chorals to soft whispers, she had the crowd captured from the beginning and entranced through the end. Easily one of the best Buffalo Place shows i've seen.

The day didn't, honestly, start off on the highest of notes. The first opening band left a lot to be desired. But the second band, a duo called Snowblink, was very good. not specifically my style of music, but they were very talented, and the lead singer had a very nice voice. Snowblink also came up with Feist for a song during the regular set and a song during the encore.

Normally at this point I would go through the specific songs and break down high points, but the whole show was just so good, from start to finish, that the entire thing was a high point. Honestly a great 75 minutes of music. Much more rock n' roll and less slow melodic. It reminded me a little of live Arcade Fire shows, tons of energy, blasting vocals, great crescendos, introspectic lyrics and great harmony's, and just really, honestly, giving it all they have.

Fiest also seemed to love Buffalo as much as we loved her. Her crowd interaction was both heartfelt, comical, and (I mean this as a compliment), very Canadian. At one point finding out someone in the front row was having an anniversary, and Fiest was the first band that brought them together, she had the whole crowd cheer for the anniversary.

She also encouraged a lot of crowd participation, and got it, at one point telling the crowd in the way back on chairs ( "you in the way back, 5 kilometers, i mean 2.5 miles away") to sing the second high notes and segmenting the crowd into different notes to sing. (Another gem from this exchange "Are there any canadiens in the crowd?" a large cheer goes up... "Ok, im making you guys sing the highest notes, because thats how we talk all the time.") She was fully invested in Buffalo, and since it was the last show of the tour, the whole band let it all hang out.

A truly powerful performance, and one that turned this reviewer into a full fledged Feist fan.

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