Live Review: Feist - The Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, CA
Fri, 25 Jul 2008 01:46:24
Los Angeles public radio powerhouse KCRW set the stage for Leslie Feist to take on the Hollywood Bowl last Sunday as a part of their summer concert series. Even considering the success of her ubiquitous iPod commercial, featuring the catchy “1234,” the Bowl was a large venue for her to tackle, though she has enough talent to fill an arena twice it’s size. In keeping with the stereotype, the L.A. weather was nearly perfect as fans streamed in to hear the Canadian singer deliver her emotional blend of folk pop.
Both opening acts, Pacifika along with Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, played solid sets, priming the steadily growing audience for the night’s main attraction. Jones shined especially bright, backed by her band The Dap Kings, and obviously out to impress the large crowd. Her throwback soul sound and high-energy stage show are hard for fans to deny, and she lived up to her reputation as a spitfire performer. The Daptones, replete with sunglasses and classy suites, proved themselves to be venerable performers in their own right providing the horn-filled funk backdrop for Jones’ action out front. She tore through their catalogue with numbers like “Be Easy” and “100 Days, 100 Nights,” ending her set with a James Brown medley that must have left the Godfather of Soul smiling from up above.
Feist took the stage soon after, starting her set in silhouette from behind a large white sheet on which her shadow was projected. She began completely a cappella with a song seemingly so new that she read it from what appeared to be a sheet of loose-leaf paper. Her band joined her as soon as it was finished, as she slid right into a steamy version of “When I Was A Young Girl.” Next up was the jaunty childhood reminiscence of “Mushaboom” where she did her best to get the audience engaged through a bit of sing along and hand clapping. Unfortunately the crowd seemed a touch self-conscious and never really gave itself over to being a full partner in the night’s festivities. This timid undercurrent from the fans lasted more-or-less throughout the evening and was easily the biggest pitfall of the performance; though Feist tried valiantly to up the participation quotient time-and-again, eventually loosening everyone up a bit by the end. Along the way she showed off her chops both on guitar and piano with dynamic renditions of songs like “My Moon My Man” and “Let It Die.” It was a laudable performance from an artist who never gave up on the audience, choosing instead to keep reaching out until the audience had no choice but to reach back.