Well my stint of small, intimate shows continues this week with a surprise Feist show.
It started with a Brooklyn Vegan post:
Feist playing a church in NYC TONIGHT
And well, you know me and churches. (1) After a few moments of deliberation and a quick Google image search, I headed over to Sound Fix in Brooklyn to pick up a ticket (along with a voucher for the new album, Metals).
I mean really. Get a load of this place.
After making the hike to Harlem via the D train, I stepped out at 155th Street and immediately started walking in the wrong direction. Luckily, I ran into someone who was just as confused as I was, and together we eventually figured it out. Though the walk from the train to the church seemed simple, it involved climbing something like 5 flights of stairs of an overpass. Out of breath and eager to be on time, we sped to our destination.
After a painfully long wait in line outside the church, we were finally ushered into the crypt to join the other small groups that had already gained admittance. Immediately upon entering the room, I gasped. The space like something out of a movie. The small rotunda was teeming with people, camera crew, and instruments – more instruments than I had seen on a stage in quite some time, let alone in such a small space. We’re talking violin, cello, upright bass, flute, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, sax, timpani, vibraphone, xylophone, drum kit, piano, keyboard, and of course, myriad guitars. I had heard rumor of a string section, but this was seriously crazy.
After another few minutes of anticipation, in walked Feist and her impressive backing band (the Mason Jar Music artist collective) through an old wooden door I had previously not even noticed, and I was delighted to see that included in the group were the lovely ladies of Mountain Man!
Feist and her gaggle of musicians kicked things off with a couple of songs from her new album before reaching all the way back to 2005’s Let It Die to pull out a moody, rhythm-heavy version of “Mushaboom,” an old favorite. (Mountain Man really add a lot on those harmonies near the end, yeah?)
As I stood near one of the stone columns, watching, I couldn’t help but feel a bit like I was interrupting something. It was such a surreal experience. Admittedly, Leslie was a bit out of practice as far as banter went, but when you’re playing in a space like that, banter is really only incidental.
Though I can’t really offer an assessment of the new album since I have yet to pick it up (it wasn’t available yesterday at the store), her new songs seem darker. Here’s “Caught a Long Wind.”
But the song that may have stuck out the most for me, the song that really became the anthem of the evening was the aptly named “Graveyard.”
Perhaps the only thing that could have made it better is more of the songs were unplugged. But it was still a fantastic experience – well worth the trip to Harlem.
Setlist (* = songs from new album)
*How Come You Never Go There
*The Bad In Each Other
*The Circle Married The Line
*Caught A Long Wind
*Get It Wrong, Get It Right
Let It Die