Upon entry of the 9pm start from tonight’s leading band, you could be forgiven for thinking that the support acts were still playing as Feist come to onto stage to a gentle and well mannered applause from the patient fans. The atmosphere in the Manchester Apollo tonight is dissimilar to my previous experiences of this venue; tonight the gloomy low-lit old theatre is courteous, waiting to be impressed.

Feist follows suit with the atmosphere, beginning her performance in a subtle manner playing the Metals album track ‘Undiscovered First’. The polite atmosphere begins to worry me as I feel I’m in for a no-thrill kind of show. It was at that point she yelped “MANCHESTER!!”, surprising her audience. Similar pauses between each song allow for Leslie’s comical and witty personality to shine are all well received as she delivers a typically English sarcastic humour to get the crowd on her side. Best joke of the night: “this performance is feeling very … united!” References to football… trust me; it was funny in the moment.

Her mid-song interaction helped Leslie to establish herself here tonight, but it is her music that wins her crowd tonight. Playing heavily from her new album, Leslie sings with perfection and intimacy impressing her audience with captivating versions of “A Commotion”, “In The Bad Of Each Other” and “How Come You Never Go There”.  Her backing choir Mountain Man effortlessly compliment her music delivering a blissful yet superior live performance that trumps the album recordings hands down. No doubt there would have been some disappointed audience members hoping for a similar show to her previous tours that were described as “like an art project more than a concert”, but tonight, Feist concentrates on the music and not the expensive theatrics.

In recognition that tonight’s audience may have been to one of the various tours to promote the 2007 album The Reminder, re-works of previous hits are performed. Crowd favourites such as “So Sorry”, “Sea Lion Woman” and “Mushaboom” are given a bluesy alternative re-vamp, much to the delight of the already won over audience.

 Finishing as she started, Leslie leaves the stage playing the delicate 2007 track “Intuition”. I was left questioning whether she would come back for a second encore to play what any Feist fan would think as essential songs such as “Limit To Your Love” and ‘1-2-3-4’. This never happened. Instead these tracks are purposely left out, as it’s clear that Leslie has curated a set list that follows the new sound style of Metals.

Tonight the music shone above all other factors included in a live show. With Feist touring Metals since its release 6 months ago, it was evident that at times the show lacked feeling, but it was Leslie’s intense but thoughtful presence that helped make up for this. Tonight was all about Leslie and her music… it’s no wonder why her band perform under her second name!

Images – Shirlaine Forrest

Feist will headline Green Man Festival – 18/19/20 August 2012.

We would also recommend purchasing the Feist documentary Look At What The Light Did Now. Trailer below.


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