Feist is amazing. We're just going to throw that out there, and 'amazing' is just one of the many words we heard to describe Leslie Feist last night from the lucky crowd that managed to get into her extremely intimate concert at CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto. 'Incredible' and 'unbelievable' were others - and they all really mean the same thing, don't they?
It was clear from the get-go that you were part of a privileged bunch of people getting in to the show, with people waiting outside Glenn Gould and in the lobby hoping they could snag a ticket from somewhere. For most, it wasn't to be, as joining the smattering of media folks present were just some very fortunate CBC Radio 2 contest winners and a lot of Feist's family, herself joking that around 99% of the guestlist were family and/or friends. But, fret not Feist fans - the night was hosted by Radio 2 Drive's Rich Terfry (also known as Buck 65) and the show was part of the CBC's 75th Anniversary celebrations and will be broadcast on Radio 2, November 2nd, at 7pm.
The crowd of around 300 people got to see Feist in her first performance in Toronto since November 3, 2008's show at the Air Canada Centre. In this somewhat different venue, Leslie and friends (including Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear) performed a lot of her new record, Metals, and tracks from previous records, including awesome reworked verisons of hits Mushaboom and I Feel it All that will hopefully make it on to the setlist of her upcoming tour.
With rarely less than ten musicians on stage, Feist was augmented with a three piece string section, Mountain Man (a three piece acapella group) and various others, including Charles Spearin who's also a member of Broken Social Scene. She opened with A Commotion from the new record, where several of the crowd took up her invitation to join her closer to the stage. A steady trickle of fans moved forward and sat at the front of the stage throughout the show, after she'd asked to hear the 'sticky-floor club screams' and said she would do everything possible to 'entice you out of your chairs'.
The majority of songs she played were from the new record Metals, with most of them coming first. First of Feist's friends to come on stage was Bry Webb - who 'cuts a fine figure' - a former member of Constantines. He joined her for The Bad in Each Other and again during the encore for a cover of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Islands in the Stream. Also joining Feist during the encore was Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco fame. They sang You And I together, a duet from Wilco's 2009 eponimous album.
Joel Gibb of the Hidden Cameras came on stage for The Wagoner's Lad and Doug Paisley was on hand with beautiful performance of Don't Make Me Wait. From Grizzly Bear, Ed Droste joined Feist for two songs, culminating in Cicadas and Gulls from the new record.
She was also joined by four time Grammy nominee (for his work on Feist's last record The Reminder) Mocky for a couple of tracks, but the night finished up with a rousing rendition of Let it Die to round off what was a truly special evening for the mere few hundreds of people at the show.
It was a long wait to get her back, but she's here now, and heading out on the road in support of the new record which came out last week. She's back in Canada on November 18, in Vancouver, and will also head to Edmonton, Calgary, back to Toronto, to Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City. Do go, you won't be disappointed.