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Review By Rebecca Kane
I have been anticipating Canadian Singer/Songwriter Feist’s appearance in the Triangle. Leslie Feist has many accolades under her belt, which include recently winning three Juno’s for Artist of the Year, Adult Alternative Album of the Year for “Metals”, and Music DVD of the Year for her documentary “Look at What the Light Did Now”. Her song, “1234” has been featured in an Apple iPod Nano commercial, and a guest appearance on Sesame Street.
Raleigh was not overlooked on this tour, as Feist brought her expertise to the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. She kicked off the night with the pulsating “A Commotion” and had the crowd immediately standing at attention. Within the first couple of songs, she admitted that she felt a little disconnected with the gap that separates performer and audience. Instinctively, we responded by moving out of our seats and up to the stage. We crowded warmly around her, blurring the line between artist and audience. From then on, it was pure magic.
Throughout the night, Feist was conversational and sang little improvisational ditty’s for us. She shared that had walked around earlier that evening, checking out the opening band, Timber Timbre. There was a hard core fan rocking out in the front row, and Feist pointed him out, dubbing him “Ambassador of the Audience” because he was “channeling the energy in the room.” She also likened the empty red seats in the upper level of the auditorium, as the beautiful tips of our “audience peacock feathers”.
Through the rest of the show, we cheered her on, absorbing every song in it’s entirety. Even in the quiet moments you could hear voices distinctly proclaim their devotion, and someone even added, “I’m proud of you, Leslie!” The audience definitely shared a tender spot in their hearts for Feist. It’s hard not to. She’s so real that you feel you’ve been best friends since grade school. Feist’s lush, breathy, and honest songbird-style vocals are so alluring, that you can’t help but want to do anything for her. Feist encouraged us to sing along, and at one point, all of our voices were singing in harmonic unison, evoking the sounds of an ethereal choir.
The harmonies created by Feist and her back up singers were absolutely stunning. It turns out that for this tour, Feist’s back up singers are a trio of women from Vermont known as Mountain Man, who have the ability to harmonize like they just stepped out of a vintage Appalachian folk song. Her band is also a tour de force, able to multi-task on many instruments, including; drums, percussion, tambourine, bass, guitar, horn, harmonica, keyboard, and piano, lending perfect ambiance to Feist’s unique sound.
To finish up her set, Feist played “When I Was A Young GIrl”, “Sea Lion Woman”, and “Let It Die” for the encore. It wasn’t until later that I realized she hadn’t played her most famous song of all (“1234”). It really didn’t matter to me, because when I left the auditorium and walked back to my car, I felt different. I felt encouraged, empowered, inspired and elated. So thank you, Leslie Feist, I’m proud of you, too.