Feist, May 23, 2007, Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg
Opening act Chad Van Gaalen did his best Neil Young impression, but for some strange reason, he failed to play the barnstorming, footstomping glory that is "Clinically Dead" from his album from 2 years ago. That tune alone would have sold several CDs, I'm sure. Unless I'm mistaken, he didn't even say his name.
Leslie Feist is the former member of Broken Social Scene who won the Juno for best alternative album, back when the Junos were at the MTS Centre. She played and I recall that she stopped her set on national tv due to technical problems. Nonetheless, she played to a house full of fans tonight at the Burton Cummings Theatre.
Unfortunately for me, some big lug ended up sitting right in front of me, blocking some of my view. Later on, a couple of yahoos end up sitting beside me. They were in a mood to party. During one of the songs, bird sounds emmanated from the stage. Well, the yahoos decided to "caw" like crows for fun. Moments later, during one of the quieter songs, some goof decided to copycat the yahoos and offered up some cawing of his own. Not nice!
During one of the ballads, the yahoo beside me and his girl made their way to the aisle and began to slow dance. It was a really cute moment and everyone noticed. I could have sworn I heard boos when one of the burly security guards came over to get them to clear the aisle. Feist herself intervened and asked that they be allowed to continue.
More than halfway through the show, I noticed a couple of young women stroll down the aisle and to the front of the stage. Within a minute, the front area was packed with people and the security guards weren't letting anyone else in. As people walked up to them, they were routinely turned away which resulted in "that sucks" being uttered.
One of the highlights of the show was when Feist began to talk about Charlie Chaplin's bio that she read and how it mentiondd to played the Walker Theatre. She then proceeded to play a simply old fashioned tune, accompanied by a Pipi Longstockings lookalike tap dancer! She wasn't wearing lederhosen, but there was thunderous applause for her at the end of the song. As I was exiting the venue, I noticed her at the merch booth. Speaking of merch, the t-shirts were really, really lame. They could have hired a junior high kid to design something better. I left without buying one.
Feist saved her hit single Mushaboom for the final encore. It's her most immediately appealing song, but Feist is definitely not a singles artist. She could pretty much play anything and people would just eat it up. And she did play quite a variety of indie pop, ballads and overall somewhat quirky music. I'm convinced that she'll play to a larger audience the next time she plays the Peg.