Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Feist lives up to name, plays Orpheum despite sprain

Not even a sprained ankle could keep Leslie Feist from
entertaining her beloved audience.

This was made evident by her Friday night performance at the
Orpheum Theatre. Despite being confined to a chair for the majority of the
concert, the Canadian songstress filled the massive expanse of Madison's
favorite concert venue with her unfaltering vocals, personable nature and
theatrical visual effects.

Opening for Feist was fellow former Broken Social Scene
guitarist Jason Collett.


Exhibiting vocals reminiscent of Sondre Lerche and sporting flannel
worthy of the North Woods, Collett spent the evening spinning out Ryan Adams
infused tunes interspersed with tales about high school crushes. Unfortunately,
Collett's music seemed more appropriate as background music for a coffee shop
than the expansive space of the Orpheum. Although songs like "Tinsel and
Stardust" provided evidence of Collett's musical ability, his stage demeanor
lacked a certain edge, making each song sound like the one before.

But, for everything Collett lacked in charisma and
originality, main act Leslie Feist made up for with her professional and
captivating performance. Opening with "When I Was a Young Girl," she
immediately impressed the audience with her innovative take on the track from
her 2004 album Let It Die.

Innovation was a consistent element throughout the show, as
each song was a better, more exciting version of the tracks that appeared on
her albums. Feist sped up the tempo of the normally lullaby-like "Now At Last,"
by including a tap dancer to complement the jaunty pace of the updated track.

Again, Feist managed to make the show a personal experience,
despite the vast size of the venue, by having audience members contribute to
the music. Lighters were requested for "Inside and Out," while she had earlier
designated each section of the audience to hold a certain pitch, creating a
harmony that led into "My Moon, My Man" from her latest album The Reminder.

Feist held the audience's attention during the show through
creative visuals displayed on a projector behind the band. Shadows,
silhouettes, scenic backgrounds and simple colored lights enhanced the already
artistic atmosphere. The elements of originality, audience involvement and
theatrical nuances were all effectively intertwined during Feist's rendition of
hit song "One, Two, Three, Four" from The
Reminder. A young girl, Feist's "stunt double," played the tambourine
dressed in the same sparkly, blue jumpsuit Feist wears in the popular music
video, and a disco ball spread light throughout all sections of the venue.
Audience members were asked to keep the song's underlying vocal riff as Feist
filled the concert hall with her enchanting voice and unbeatable energy, all
while sitting in a small chair in the center of the stage.

Feist wrapped up the set with indie-folk hit "Mushaboom,"
pleasing the fans of her earlier work. On the screen behind her, an image of a
quaint house in a winter setting was constructed by silhouettes throughout the
song. Fans continued to applaud Feist long after she left the stage,
anticipating her return for a few more melodies.

Feist proved her musical range once more with her encore
performances of "Sea Lion Woman" and "Let It Die" — the former, a guitar-heavy
hard hitter from The Reminder,
contrasted with the dark subtleties of the title track from Feist's 2004 album.
But like the rest of the performance, both songs were played with effortless
perfection and awe-inspiring beauty.

But perhaps this notion is not limited to Feist's music. Her
stage demeanor throughout the evening, as opposed to opener Jason Collett,
exhibited her natural ease as a performer, while her lyrics and instrumental
ability showcased her professionalism as a musician. By providing innovative
twists to every song, Feist made her concert a worthwhile experience.

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