November 6, 2011

Feist plays Third Man Records in Nashville

Feist might be my favorite guitarist. And her Nashville show tonight, announced just a day in advance, jumped immediately to the top of Katie's favorite concert list.

I'd been obsessively listening to the new "Metals" album this week, finally getting into it, but I had no idea what was about to happen. I noticed a tweet around 6:30 p.m. from someone selling two tickets to her sold-out show. At that moment, I was thinking the person was referring to tomorrow's Atlanta show, 4 hours away. I hadn't heard about her late-breaking decision to play Nashville. Great luck! Ever since we saw Andrew Bird two winters ago in Richmond, we'd had Feist at No. 1 on our must-see list.

The show did not disappoint. Her crew absolutely stomped through most of her new songs on "Metals," including an epic rendition of "Undiscovered First," with Feist jerking around her guitar and the backup singers playing out a dramatic, synchronized tambourine routine. I've come to consider "Anti-Pioneer" a favorite, and decided tonight that I would happily listen to the opening notes on repeat forever (be warned, Grooveshark's "Anti-Pioneer" is falsely labeled).

One of the reasons I mention Andrew Bird is that he and Feist go to wild and wonderful places with their songs when performing live. Tonight, for example, she performed an initially unrecognizable version of "Mushaboom," and a jangly rocking version of "I Feel It All," in which the drumming actually brought to mind some old live clips of Neutral Milk Hotel.

Small note: the big sounds and backing vocals of "Commotion" were not cheesy live.

I'd also briefly mention that the set was interrupted (said harshly) partway through to allow a local fella to belt out some neo-soul song. Feist masterfully followed the wannabe barn burner -- taking back the show -- with "Comfort Me," a song that begins as an acoustic solo and mounts to a thunderous peak.

Here's an incomplete setlist (updated x3):

Undiscovered First
How Come You Never Go There
Comfort Me
The Bad In Each Other
My Moon, My Man
I Feel It All
When The Circle Married the Line
Caught A Long Wind
Get It Wrong, Get It Right
Cicadas and Gulls
Let It Die (slow dancing encouraged)

And here's The New York Times profile/review of "Metals."

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Blogger Fr. Mark Perkins said...

I don't know who my favorite guitarist is, but I don't know that anyone looks cooler than she does playing guitar.

This makes me want to see her live even more. I got the impression that her current album would be pretty awesome in concert after watching these pretty sweet performances on Jools Holland. (I just now noticed that two of her back-up singers are making eyes at one another fiercely for like thirty seconds in "The Bad in Each Other." Poor left-out third singer.)

I like the way you describe what she and Andrew Bird do to their songs live. I much prefer the amazing version of "Anonanimal" that a bunch of us saw in Cincinnati in 2008 to the (still good) album version.

November 6, 2011 at 1:13 AM 
Blogger Tony said...

Mark, I've long been a live clip nerd for Feist and Bird. I'll look at those clips.

As for guitarists, I'll be pretty transparent about it: I like Feist in the way I like Britt Daniel of Spoon; and Joey from Pixies; and Dan with the Black Keys; and whoever it is that makes noise for Grizzly Bear and the Walkmen: that guttural, sometimes-minimalist gritty stuff.

That third backup singer is total downer live. She doesn't go along with the theatrics and seems ungrateful.

November 6, 2011 at 10:40 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

She does look really cool. We should try and resurrect that "best TV clips" piece based solely on how cool said band looks while playing. Sleater-Kinney is still No. 1 for me, though, probabaly forever. They all look cool playing instruments.

Anyway, I just listened to "The Remainder" again for the first time in a while. I think when it initially came out I disliked it for some stupid indie rock reason (like I hated "1, 2, 3, 4" because I heard it all the dam time). That was really stupid, and now I can't stop listening to it.

My favorite guitarists are people who make a lot of noise and don't really care about "technique" per say. That is, guitarists that like to mess around with the guitar but not necessarily want to be Jimmy Paige. Like Sleater-Kinney (of course) but also J Masicas of Dinosaur Jr and the guy from No Age and such.

But Feist is quickly starting to go up there for me.

What did the new version of Mushaboom sound like?

November 6, 2011 at 3:53 PM 
Blogger JHitts said...

Also, that Feist clip om Jools Holland is funny because apparently on that same episode, along with Bon Iver, were Mastodon. Which of these things are not like the other?

November 6, 2011 at 3:56 PM 
Blogger Fr. Mark Perkins said...

HA. Awesome. Here are some more clips from that show. The "Perth" performance gets pretty sweet. No Mastodon, unfortunately.

Yeah, the Reminder is a great album. I did get pretty burned out on 1234, though.

Bummer, Tony, about the third backup. Maybe she just feels left out of whatever the other two got going on.

Also I just ran across this picture.

November 6, 2011 at 4:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review, but the setlist should also show Cicadas and Gulls. She played it before Let It Die.

November 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM 

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