The Fast Forward Revue

One Girl Against The Bowl by akaneshiro
Feist, Pacifika, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at the Hollywood Bowl!

Feist, Pacifika, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at the Hollywood Bowl (20/07/08)

Fast Forward Revue Rating: FFFF (4 out of 5)


The evening started off with Pacifika, a band deeply rooted in soft jazz and Latin beats. Wasn’t all that pleased with them, actually; it was quite underwhelming. Their sound reminded me of an asthmatic, fairy tale-worshiping Tori Amos with a hint of Shakira in “Underneath Your Clothes.” In a nutshell, I prayed that Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings would not disappoint.

The lovely Sharon Jones

The lovely Sharon Jones

As soon as Jones sauntered onstage in a glittery, silver polka dot ensemble, I knew we were in for a good time. Pulling a complete 180, this fiery little lady backed by an equally spunky band immediately revived The Bowl with an upbeat attitude and a whole lot of soul. If James Brown and Tina Turner ever made sweet, weekly love, Sharon Jones–wrapped up in funk and R&B goodness–would pop out nine months later for sure. She connects with the 18,000 concert goers in between songs with the occasional “Ow! Watch me!” as she struts her stuff like Tina and simulates dancing on coals. The woman belts as if she were passing a freakin’ kidney stone! And note that their MySpace headline reads that they are “soul excitement.” Take their word for it.

At first, we see only darkness. Then a striking silhouette against an illuminated rectangle. Leslie Feist, clad in a heavily-tasseled white dress fit for a cowgirl, commands the stage with silence. She starts off her 70-minute set with two classics borrowed from the likes of Joan Baez and Nina Simone (“Wagoner’s Lad” and “When I Was a Young Girl,” respectively). Feist has a way of making things feel incredibly intimate when you consider that there are 17,999 other fans gathered underneath the blanket of sapphire. She sings a few notes with her ethereal voice, the nostalgia kicks in, and we cling to every word.

Feist, during "Wagoner's Lad"

Feist, during "Wagoner's Lad"



Oh, hard is the fortune of all womankind 
She’s always controlled
She’s always confined 
Controlled by her parents 
until she’s a wife 
A slave to her husband 
the rest of her life




Feist daydreams of the ideal living situation in “Mushaboom,” leads us through groundbreaking epiphanies in “I Feel It All” with a rock ‘n’ roll twist, stirs up a harmonious frenzy complete with clapping during “Sea Lion,” and manages to make “1234” sound as charming as it did the first time. That Sunday night was completely magical, shadow puppets and all.




The Rogers Picnic: Rain, rain… stay here? by kswitz

The Rogers Picnic (July 20, Historic Fort York)

Official Promotional Poster

Official Promotional Poster

So it’s 4:54 am… and I can’t sleep.

But that’s unimportant, since there is blog-fun to be had!

So this isn’t really going to be a concert review, so much as a hodge-podge of random things I noticed about concerts while attending the Rogers Picnic yesterday. And here goes:

a) RAIN AS A BONDING EXPERIENCE: Seriously, once it started pouring, everyone got in closer, got more into dancing, and cheered louder than ever as the bands expressed their sympathies for our soggy bottoms. It even bonded audience members individually, as umbrellas were shared between neighbours, and tarps were put up by those who brought them and stretched to fit as many concert-goers as possible. Rain is the great equalizer.

b) ENERGY IS KEY: I found that the bands onstage who had tonnes of energy (Chromeo and Dizzee Rascal, to name two) ended up being the bands I liked the most out of all the performers. This surprised me ’cause I’m something of a huge Animal Collective fan, but I still liked Chromeo‘s set way, way more, because of their connection with the crowd, and the cool factor of their high energy level. Their late-night DJ set in the back of the Nokia DJ Tent (or whatever it was called) was also a great picker-upper for all those who’d been there all day and noticed their energy flagging. We danced like crazy-people.

c) ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS: Is the new cool. And rightfully so! I love how it’s gotten to the level where there are “Zero Foot Print” tents at concerts! The concert was also co-ordinated to be as close to a zero-waste event as possible: there were sorting-style recycling bins, separated into Aluminum/Plastic, Paper, and Compost. Serious snaps for that!

d) TEXTING SCREENS: Amusing but annoying, as they are just so damn distracting! Everyone ends up staring at the boards instead of the bands! But they are hilarious, like when people write “I am the hiphoppopotamus, my lyrics are bottomless”, or comment on the large number of Urban Outfitters wearers in the crowd (read: hipster-bashing is the new cool)It’s also a bit sketchy, though… I was trying to get in contact with my brother throughout the show using the service but who knows if our Katie/Graeme texts were actually between me-Katie and him-Graeme? (Skeeettcchhhyyy. I clearly need to just get his number…).

e) FREE REDBULL: Is bomb. Just saying… (PS If anyone from Redbull reads this (not likely), feel free to do it at more concerts! I will love you! So will everyone else!).

f) CITY AND COLOUR: Actually isn’t too bad. They’re a touch emo but they have a good amount of energy, and I like Dallas Green‘s jokes.

Alright, so it’s bedtime.

Hope y’all enjoyed this.