The music veers from infectious indie joy to plaintive solo folk, although having to extend the set to a good 100 minutes does provide for the odd bit of banter that doesn’t really work: an audience hum-a-long falls flat, and some of Feist’s asides are just plain cryptic. In a smaller venue where everything is up close and personal, you can get away with this sort of unforced, eccentric charm. In a venue like the Albert Hall, it just sounds demented.
That said, Feist has obviously had to make some concessions in playing for a large audience, and the most noticeable is the completely berserk shadow show (I kid you not). Two ‘shadow assistants’ create an ever-changing panorama of volcanoes, ships at sea, birds and foliage that are projected behind the band as they do their thing. At one stage, someone climbs a stepladder behind Feist and throws torn up paper everywhere (it’s snowing, see?). Not exactly stadium rattling stuff, but we’re not talking Iron Maiden here: the visuals are great, and are done with a huge amount of lo-fi charm.
Only two things bring a slight downer on proceedings: 1) whoever they were, the support band were utterly dreadful. All I know about them is that they come from New Zealand, and that’s really all I want to know, and 2) a surprising lack of hipsters in the audience. I mean, good god, people were even dancing in the aisles! Whatever next? ;-)