John Vanderslice may well own the hearts of the San Francisco crowds he plays to, at least it seems that way. Taking the stage at 9:20 (SFist isn’t at all ashamed to admit that they’ve been enjoying the earlier show times at Noise Pop this year), Vanderslice and crew played a tight 35 minute set. In addition to saying hi to his mom, Vanderslice reminisced about his first ever show, which was opening for The Mountain Goats and Bob Mould at a Noise Pop show a few years back. Vanderslice also demonstrated that he really is one of the tightest writers in pop music, both in terms of his jazz-ish compositions and interesting lyrical twists and turns. The only disappointment was that he didn’t play more from Pixel Revolt, but the performance overall was anything but disappointing.
Leslie Feist has a voice that makes you wonder if she’s made a deal with a devil. In recordings, here voice is amazing, but live it induces awe. The range, control, huskiness and beauty of it make you think of smoky jazz clubs in the 1940’s and maybe Billy Holiday and Cat Power singing a duet. Known for improvising and looping her own vocals during live performances, Feist added new twists to her older songs and played several new songs from her upcoming album, much to the delight of the crowd. She also brought out Kevin Drew from her former band, Broken Social Scene to perform a song.
Feist proved that she may be the best musical sports ever. Midway through her set, Bimbo’s sound board blew. Only one “1964 mike” that was running through the guitar amp, and Feist’s own guitar could be heard. Undaunted, Feist said she didn’t “want to leave yet” and proceeded to perform a couple of songs in Lo-Fi. Sound techs (SFist never knew they could move that fast) managed to fix the sound for the end of the set, but it blew again a song into the encore. Although it was frustrating to not be able to really hear some of the songs, Feist forever endeared herself to SFist and the rest of the crowd with her good natured attitude about the problem and because she kept playing throughout.
Photo by Julie Schuchard