Simple Pleasures with Feist at Massey Hall

Canada’s Feist returned home to perform at the iconic Massey Hall in Toronto on what was the hottest day of the year, making the third official day of autumn a truly remarkable summer day. The weather’s extreme heat was fitting since Feist has been on fire since the release of her third solo effort Pleasure (via Interscope). The Polaris Short Listed release has garnered critical acclaim throughout North America and is hands down one of my favourite releases of the year thus far. Not to mention my favourite Feist album to date.

The show started a bit late but fans keep a cool, calm demeanor inside Massey Hall. The lights dimmed and the band walked out to a stripped down stage setup. There was minimal lighting, just some light panels forming a backlit wall behind the band with a giant folding fan at centre stage. There was also an incredible art piece hanging stage right, I’m not entirely sure what it was but I’d say it was a mix between a chandelier, weathervane, and sundial. It was an interesting and incredible show, to say the least.

Feist jumped right in and informed the audience that we were on a journey to find Pleasure and let everyone know that we’d be hearing the new album in its entirety. Typically fans get a bit pissed thinking they need to wait out new songs until they get to the classics they fell in love with, but this show was different. Fans weren’t upset, they were stoked and mesmerized with every note sung by our beloved Feist. Every song that ended felt like it was going to be the last song played because the crowd would give a standing ovation followed by intense clapping and cheering with every song. They were right in doing so, every song felt like a masterpiece.

There were wonderful moments throughout her set, from her jokes, to little rants about making friends with strangers, to fans getting up on stage and slow dancing. It was an emotionally beautiful set, which became incredibly evident when she even dedicated her song “Century” to her father and the entire show was being live streamed to his hospital bed.

After Pleasure was wrapped up, she banged out classics like “My Moon My Man”, “Sea Lion Woman”, “The Bad in Each Other”, and ended her set with “I Feel It All”. She left the stage and of course, the crowd insisted she come back out for an encore. As she walked out on stage the closed fan behind her unfolded and revealed colourful LED lights and she played “Mushaboom,” her 2006 release Open Season and ended her FIRST encore with a slowed down rendition of her most successful hit "1234." She referenced the song being like a friend that has been gone for 10 years, only to come back with stories that didn’t need explanation. The type of friend that you just had to look at in the face and you could tell that they had been through a lot and experienced the world. It was a pretty interesting reflection on how she felt about her own song and it made perfect sense as to why she didn’t play it straight up, the way the world fell in love with it in the first place. That time had passed.

As 1234 was coming to an end, Feist skipped off stage while the band was still playing and it felt like that was going to be the last we saw of her for the night. But not quite. She came out one last time to play “Intuition” off 2008’s The Reminder and it was the perfect nightcap. I couldn’t have been more pleased with her set. It was magical.

You can check out all my photos from her set above.

Feist Setlist:

1. Pleasure
2. I Wish I Didn’t Miss You
3. Get Not High, Get Not Low
4. Lost Dreams
5. Any Party
6. A Man Is Not His Song
7. The Wind
8. Century
9. Baby Be Simple
10. I’m Not Running Away
11. Young Up
12. My Moon My Man
13. A Commotion
14. Sea Lion Woman
15. The Bad in Each Other
16. Let It Die
17. Caught a Long Wind
18. I Feel It All


Encore 2:

Words / Photography by: Steve St. Jean

**All photos © Beyond The Watch. Do not use or reproduce w/o permission**