Review by David Courtright; photo by Matt Smith
When Leslie Feist strolled out on stage with Vermont vocal trio Mountain Man in tow, holding a full wine glass, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion the evening would amount to something special. For Feist, an internationally-acclaimed pop star (whether she likes it or not), has nothing if not good taste. She hand-picked the indie darlings to be her back-up singers, and in making that decision, brought to her already stunning live performance some of the most startling female vocal talent out there today. It was no surprise that the vocals were tight, and an integral part of the experience.
Hot on the heels of releasing a documentary about her previous album and subsequent tours, Feist dropped Metals about a month ago to somewhat mixed reviews. There is no “1234” on this album: instead, Ms. Feist has crafted an album that feels like an album. Most of her earlier work jumps between genre; this album holds a groove, and holds it well. It feels softer on the record, but in classic Feist style, the show was all rock and roll.
The band started with “The Undiscovered First,” which starts with a whisper, and ends with a bang – all three ladies of Mountain Man tambourines a-ratlling and belting out the refrain. Highlights of the evening were “A Commotion,” “Comfort Me,” and an old favorite, “My Moon My Man.” The true highlight for me was when Mountain Man was given the stage for a song – a reward for the audience singing along. You could have heard a flea sneeze as they inhaled in unison between sweeping ribbons of voice.
When asked what kind of wine she was drinking by an audience member, Leslie replied, “It’s this great wine from Scotland,” (takes sip), “it’s called, um, scotch.” A night of true entertainment: Feist is an artist who is taking on her craft on her own terms, and doing it very well.