Canadian pop star Feist turns the Pantages into her rumpus room

Daniel Corrigan

In her minidress and grape-colored tights, Feist cut a striking figure: she wore her bangs like sunglasses, keeping the look in her eyes a secret; and her deeply carved cheekbones collected pools of shadow from the stage lights at Pantages Theater. The grand setting fit her well; it was an unexpected upgrade for the Canadian songwriter, who told the audience that she woke up in Minneapolis, saw the familiar black cinderblocks of First Ave out the window, and headed over to the club without a second thought—"but they wouldn't let me in." Of course, there is a downside to playing posh venues: "Sometimes these comfortable seats can placate people into acting older than the really are," she warned. She needn't have worried; the audience might have been a twitch complacent, but plush seats keep people focused during sets like these. Despite her pedigree as a high school punker and, later, a member of Toronto's Broken Social Scene, Feist wasn't looking to put on a rock show—her critically celebrated 2007 release, The Reminder, is a collection of pop songs that, while not without its moments of passionate excitement, floats and soars in its exploration of the emotional tricks of Leslie Feist's vocal chords. Her backing band helped fill out the richly orchestrated sound of the album, like elaborate wallpaper behind the dramatic action of Feist's singing. By turns an icy hush, an explosive holler, and a burnished, husky croon, her sound stretched, sprung, and burnt off into the atmosphere. And while "I Feel It All" couldn't quite recapture the jerky ecstasy of the studio version, "My Moon My Man" became the night's hit song, propelling half-seen figures up in one of the boxes into a mad frenzy of wild rumpus dancing.

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