Feist wrapped up the bulk of her touring behind her terrific fourth album, Metals, with a stop in Buffalo. She headlined one of the Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor events held at the Erie Canal Harbor, sandwiched between the canal and the city.
Local opener Roger Bryan and the Orphans started playing in the late afternoon sun, and by the time support act Snowblink — Canadian singer/guitarist Daniela Gesundheit backed by guitarist Dan Goldman — finished, dusk had settled over the harbor. The duo played a handful of originals and a haunting cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper.” Gesundheit was soft-spoken and quiet but was propelled by an incredible voice — not unlike her friend Leslie Feist.
But while Feist’s performances may once have been quiet perfection, only one of those words would describe her now. The singer-songwriter, backed by a six-piece band that included Broken Social Scene’s Charles Spearin and the three singers of Mountain Man, is a red-blooded performer. With a fervent intensity, they kicked off the set with “A Commotion” — a song heavy enough to be covered by the metal band Mastodon.
Behind her, the stage was lit up by a sea of psychedelic projections and deliberately lo-fi video feeds from cameras attached to mic stands and hanging from the trusses.
Most of the songs were from Metals, definitely her most forceful record. Feist and her band played the single “How Come You Never Go There” (with excellent three-part harmonies from Mountain Man) and thundered through “The Bad in Each Other.”
She did slow it down a bit with songs like “Comfort Me” and “The Circle Married the Line,” but she rearranged most of her slower songs for a stronger live performance. “I Feel It All” and “My Moon My Man” were sped up and distorted, and “Mushaboom” was almost completely transformed. Even the encore of “Sea Lion Woman” — one of the most upbeat songs on 2007′s The Reminder – was very different.
Surprisingly (or not, if you’ve paid attention to recent setlists and show reviews), “1,2,3,4″ failed to make an appearance. Though it’s her biggest single, it really wouldn’t have fit in the set. Feist was both somber and energetic, but nothing short of sincere. The silly sing-a-long would have completely undone the set’s complex intensity. And though its absence was noted, no one seemed to mind.
See some more photos from the show after the jump. Continue reading