Archive for August, 2008

“One Evening” with Feist

Monday, August 11th, 2008

There is nothing I love more, than spending a perfect summer evening attending a concert at Deer Lake Park. Last year it was the Arcade Fire who blew me away, this years I was thrilled to be attending Feist.

Deer Lake Park is a stunning venue. It truly is the perfect outdoor venue (except for the fact that it’s in the middle-of-nowhere-Burnaby – don’t get me started on the transit issues trying to leave…). Unlike other outdoor venues that are flat fields, Deer Lake Park set-up so that the stage is at the bottom of a hill, so no matter where you end up finding a spot to place your blanket you can always see the stage. With the stunning backdrop of the lake, and the sun setting behind the crowd while the moon rises beside the stage, the whole venue has a magical feel to it.

The crowd of nearly 8,000, all seemed to be trying to get in at the same time. The line-up outside wrapped around numerous times in a zig-zag pattern, not unlike the lines for DisneyLand rides. I ended up standing in line for the entire performance of the Winnipeg-formed opening act, The Weakerthans.

Once settled inside, I still had a fair amount of time to relax before Feist was scheduled to take to the stage. The amazing thing about an artist like Feist, is the diversity of fans she is able to bring out. The crowd was made up of a mix of every age, gender, race and genre of fan imaginable, from newborns to grandmothers, from hippies to frat boys – there was not a single segment of society missing!

The second that her band, looking like painters dressed in all white, took to the stage the crowd was on their feet. Feist bounded onto the stage in her typical fashion – cute dress and guitar in hand – to the roar of the crowd. Starting with When I Was a Young Girl, from her 2004 album “Let it Die,” Feist quickly ran through some of her biggest hits like I Feel it All, My Moon My Man, and, the crowd-favourite, 1234. While she skipped out on her first single, the BeeGee’s cover of Inside and Out, she managed to cover most of the tracks from “Let it Die” and her most recent album “The Reminder.”

Between each song Feist was able to interact with the crowd, and they with her. Demanding Sea Lion Woman, Feist finally responded “if I promise to play Sea Lion, will you let me play one more song you don’t know” to the cheers and laughter of the audience.

It’s hard to call Feist, a Grammy-nominated and Juno Award winning performer, Canada’s “indie-rock darling” any longer, but despite all her success and worldwide fame, she still manages to remain just that. While she’s able to control a crowd like a veteran performer, she stills come across like the sweet singer-songwriter type she’s always been.

Whether it’s because she’s been in Vancouver numerous times or the fact that she simply does her research, Feist was able to play on all the Vancouver “jokes.” Referring to the crowd as her “mirpeople”, she struggled to determine the third category when trying to divide the crowd for a three-part harmony. “Okay, all the women, all the men, and all the bicyclists…no…people who eat granola…no…Wreck Beach goers…no…Wreck Beach goers who go completely nude!” This was only one of the many occasions she had the crowd fill in and create the ambiance that only an outdoor show can truly provide.

One of the highlights for me, although it distracted me from watching Feist perform, was the amazing shadow show that played out on the backdrop. The “shadow mistress” and her assistant, were able to create amazing stories for each song with the use of only their hands and a few props, including jewels, branches, flowers, fabric, and cut-outs.

All in all it was truly more of a performance than just a concert. The music seemed to be just as important as Feist‘s chatter, the shadow show and the beautiful summer evening.