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.