Monday, June 11, 2007
Feist - Phantoms
Over the weekend I was able to catch Feist/ Grizzly Bear at the Berklee Performance Hall in Boston. It's a show that almost slipped through my fingers as somehow I wasn't aware of it until it was already on sale. Now this situation may not seem abnormal in life, but for me, a person who wakes up earlier than he wishes to on the Saturday mornings when tickets go on sale, parking myself in front of not one but two computers (via desktop and laptop), briskly refreshing the Ticketmaster site until the fateful moment where the Tickets Unavailable page transforms into Purchase Now. It wasn't until 6pm that I got tickets, not late by any means in life's standards, but for me it was like as if I let by a whole fleet of nuclear weaponry at a security check. How could this have happened? Tickets were already on eBay advertising them as for a Sold Out show (those shady scalpers...) but fortunately I could score two tickets about maybe 15 rows from the back. Still, for a small theater that had only 33 rows in front of us, not terrible. But dammit, who doesn't want to be closer to Leslie Feist!
Though there were out iffy seats and badly designed rows where the chairs were spaced one in front of the other instead of a preferable ABAB irregular placement. This would give an unobstructed view through the shoulders of those ahead of you rather than than having the silhouette of a head smack-dab in the center of your vision. Practically everyone in the theater needed to lean over to the side to get a good view. It was a bit awkward. Regardless, the show was of such a high caliber, that these inconveniences were easily forgotten about. Grizzly Bear played first to a theater that was maybe 2/3 filled. Before their show the band was running their own merch table and it was being almost universally ignored in favor of Feist's. In a good gauge to how they were received, the tables were completely turned after their set and Grizzly Bear's table was the hot spot to be. That and in the bathroom line. The Men's room only had one urinal and one stall which made for quite a wait. The women's line on the other hand was about three times as long... doing nothing to dispel the stereotype that women take forever to do their business. Then again the male process is pretty much grab and go, if you get what I mean. I'm digressing... Tomorrow I think I'll do a full entry about Grizzly Bear so I'll cover their performance there.
Now at last- Feist! She didn't disappoint. After a little shaky start where her band was onstage for a couple of minutes playing by themselves. Rather than a means to accentuate her arrival, it was more confusing and resulted in persistent chatter rather than hype. When she took stage the audience was more polite than enthused, but it certainly was a response. The event had more of a formal event quality than most other shows I've been to recently. Lots of couples seemed to be there and many were well-dressed. I think Leslie caught onto this, after the first song asking the audience how they'd respond if they were seeing the show at the Middle East or T.T the Bear's and they standing up against a wall. She was very involved with the audience, often saying hi between songs and offering little bits of banter, one of which involved setting up a microphone on stage for the ghost of vaudeville. The first heckle of the night was a surprise, something Leslie herself commented on, wishing to know what could have possibly been said. It was "Now at Last!" and the fan furthered that she didn't play it last night. Feist responded with "A double-nighter! I live in fear of the double-nighters" (which got a big laugh.) "But I mean...thanks for coming to see the show again. We'll see what we can do about the song." Now this heckle was a very-worthwhile one in my opinion, as "Now at Last" is my personal favorite song that Feist has recorded. To everyone's surprise during a two song stint where it was just her and an acoustic guitar on stage she played a playful arrangement of the song, midway through inviting a friend on to tap dance a percussion section. For me this impromptu moment was the highlight of the night. Her setlist was great, with many songs from her new record, including "1234," "I Feel it All," "The Park," "My Moon My Man," "So Sorry," "Sea Lion," "Past in Present," "The Water," and "Intuition." This is just from memory though, so I may be skipping some. We also got "Mushaboom," "Gatekeeper," "Let it Die," "When I Was a Young Girl," and the aforementioned "Now at Last." She also played a few unreleased songs, including one which I'm posting in this entry.
Feist - Phantoms
This song got a huge response, especially considering that the majority of the venue probably never heard it before. It comes from a radio aired concert Feist played in Chicago last year.
I was hoping to meet Feist after the show but unfortunately that could not be. However I did get a personalized autographed copy of Let it Die on vinyl. It's a funny story. So I was waiting outside the venue by Feist's tourbus, record in hand like a complete fanboy. The bus was pretty well hidden as you had to hike around the venue and down an alley to get to it. Probably why so few people were there. There was one wishful kid and his friends who put his band's demo in the bus' windshield but and for a while it was just me and that intrusive prick. Finally someone came along who had the setlist and was looking for her to sign it. We got to talking a bit and I found out she was actually 37 and a teacher of Classics at a college that I had looked at in my original school search during high school. It then began to rain, which I then feared could made the hopefully impending Feist meeting into a mere Feist encounter. We asked the security guard if he knew anything about her coming out, but all he could tell us was that the bus was scheduled to leave at 1AM. It was then 10:30. Soon the guitarist came out and I asked if he knew anything about the situation inside. He told us that Leslie would be out at 11:30 at earliest. The guy however was incredibly nice and made us the offer of taking in an item for her to sign, as she was busy at the moment. When he emerged with this after about 3 minutes, my I was aghast. Not only did she sign my LP but she drew me a Matt sailboat!! I graciously thanked the guitarist and to preserve the moment got a picture with him and the teacher I met while waiting. Ridiculous...ly awesome.
When I made that "if you find me a better video this year..." remark in that AIH post I completely forgot about this clip for "1 2 3 4." I guess that means I found myself a better video this year. Should I believe myself?
Feist - The Reminder @Amazon.com (for $7.49!)