So last night, I saw Feist.
She played at the Wiltern, a gorgeous theater near Koreatown. We got there toward the end of Grizzly Bear’s set, and anxiously sat and waited for our beloved Leslie Feist to take the stage.
I’m going to preface the rest of this with the following warning: this was the most enjoyable concert I have been to in about a year, and there is likely to be some weird fangirl babble.
The theater got dark and a large disco ball spun faster and faster illuminating the stage and theater with long threads of light. The band took the stage and started playing the intro “Limit to Your Love.” Then we saw her. Our lovely heroine pranced on stage wearing a red dress and red tights. She grabbed her red guitar and started in. Throughout the show she switched between her acoustic and electric guitar (that was almost as big as she was.) A few songs in, as things started really getting going, I was floored by something: Feist can rock. Feist can really rock. Listening to her cutesy-pop songs like “Mushaboom” or “The Park,” you may not realize it.
She called us to be “A Choir of Strangers” and we were given notes by our seating areas and we sang along with her. I had a similar reaction to it as I did when Ben Folds had us sing the “ahhh-ahhhhs” in “Not the Same.” That reaction was getting choked up. I can be such an emotional concert go-er.
She played one of her tunes Vaudville style, as they had been playing in very old theaters the entire tour, as “an offering to the ghost of Vaudville.” Halfway through a tap dancer came out and performed along with Feist. It was really fun.
Leslie Feist has a beautiful voice, both in the studio and live. Her live presence is amazing, she gets the crowd excited, and then feeds off of that excitement. Everyone in that theater last night had a big-time crush on her. She was radiant.
As the show came to a close, she played favorites: “1 2 3 4” and “Mushaboom” (an amazing version) and also a new song that was loud and well crafted and absolutely wonderful. She also played “Sea Lion Woman,” which is probably my least favorite song from “The Reminder,” but one of the most enjoyable songs to see live. Grizzly Bear came out to sing the “sea lion” part. They presented her a rainstick as a thank-you for touring with them, and they stood upstage and danced and played the rainstick and clapped and were having a great time. And I was too.
As an encore, she stood on the upright piano and sang a lovely song, herself and the pianist, Kevin Drew (Video here). She played “Let it Die” with the help of her fantastic band, and then she left us. I could have sat for hours, mesmerized by her talent, but she had to go.