words & photos by Ryan Barkan
Feist played the Howard Gilman Opera House at BAM Wednesday night (11/2). It was the show that needed quadruple confirmation back in August. It was her first proper New York show since 2008, though a lucky few caught her play a surprise show in crypt in Harlem exactly one month ago.
After a surprisingly great (to me, first time seeing them) opening set by The Happiness Project, fronted by fellow BSS member Charles Spearin, Feist and friends took the stage around 9pm. They played a long, two-hour set leaning heavily on material from the newly-released Metals in addition to fun classics from way back, and the witty banter we have all grown to love. Highlights from the set include a skull-faced crowd member being invited up to the stage by Feist for a lively, dancey "My Moon My Man," new tracks like "The Bad In Each Other" and "How Come You Never Go There," and the gorgeous backing vocals of Mountain Man.
The encore brought a bundle of goodness so...good...that it was hard for Feist not to affirm that we made her not want to wait three years to come back again. Feist and Mountain man silenced the crowd with a stunning rendition of "Cicadas and Gulls". It's amazing how powerful four voices, one instrument, and one simple song can be in bringing a room to quiet admiration. Probably my favorite moment of the night. The rest of the band joined for a 50's version of "Bittersweet Melodies," and "Sealion," the latter seeing the stage surrounded by a hundred or so audience members invited up by Feist. Whistling ensued, Feist wore a hat, folks sat, lots of devices were taking photos and video. The coda of the evening came with a gripping rendition of 2005's "Let It Die."
More pictures from the show below...