Feist tours during COVID-19 in a unique way

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Feist took us into his intimate and emotional world Friday night at Meridian Hall in Toronto as he performed new songs from an album he plans to record this winter.

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Most artists release an album and then hit the road, but the completely original 45-year-old singer-songwriter likes to do things her own way, and she is usually right.

Regardless of what the Toronto-based artist was at one point working on the extraordinary live stage, she frequently wiped away tears and at one point ended up in the fetal position, it worked for the audience as well, as we all figured out how to feel again. insurance at concerts in the midst of a pandemic.

Feist’s COVD-19 move was to bring 200 fans (masked with their double door verified shots) on stage with her with the crowd sitting on wooden chairs about four rows deep in a circle surrounding the artist in a slightly raised platform.

It almost felt like a rehearsal in a way even though Feist began his Multitudes performances, developed jointly with designer Rob Sinclair (David Byrne’s Broadway production of American Utopia), in Hamburg, Germany and then Ottawa for several nights before arriving in Toronto for a two-night, ten-night residency run ending October 30.

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Feist played various acoustic guitars and had pedals so she could loop her husky, sexy voice to harmonize with herself. But before long he was joined by Todd Dahlhoff and Amir Yaghmai on bass / keyboards and violin, respectively.

There were also two cameramen who roamed the audience projecting images such as an open purse with a note that said, “I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me,” or a wreath of flowers on the stage’s black front curtain and black background.

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Feist also encouraged audience participation such as stomping our feet to mimic the sound of the Toronto subway, or screaming and screaming despite the silent, yet dramatic nature of many of the songs.

Among the many new highlights were After After Party, Forever Before, Redwing, Rings Off, In Lightening, Become the Earth, Another Person’s Wealth and Love Who We Are Meant To while dealing with topics of the pandemic, love, life and death. (During the confinement he adopted a girl, Tihui, in late 2019 and lost his own father, Harold, in 2020).

And just when I thought it would all end in that tightly packed space, Feist ran to the front curtain to reveal the 3,000+ auditorium seats we would normally be seated in for one of his shows.

“Do you remember those?” he joked before running to the sitting area and bowing after the final and oldest song, Caught A Long Wind, (from Metals from 2011) accompanied by the bright glow of a lone disco ball.

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