Feist + Timber Timbre

A week late, but a great show can’t go by without mention.

Proscenium arch of the Phoenix Orpheum Theatre

Feist and Timber Timbre at the Orpheum

I know and adore Fiest’s music, but had never heard of Timber Timbre, and it was years since I’d been to the Orpheum. Querido and I arrived to find three musicians in a corner of the dark stage, which was filled with what might have been the contents of a music store tag sale. Their musical style turned out to be a very pleasant folk rock, leaning more towards folk than rock. It takes a lot of guts to do folk, and a lot of talent to do it well, but Timber Timbre had both guts and talent.

Mural of a desert scene in the Phoenix Orpheum Theatre

The Wild West, Civilized

The quality of the intermission is generally determined by the venue. Intermissions at the Marquee are interminable, and spent alternately keeping an eye out for latecomers who have had enough to drink to think it’s a good idea to take spots from those who came early and studying the ravaged guts of what was once a proper theater, with seats, curtains—the whole nine yards. Intermissions at the Crescent Ballroom are a little better, and you can generally divide your time between watching the roadies set up and people watching. The Orpheum has assigned seats, so we were free to stand up, wander a bit, and admire what remains a lovely old theater. Its builders combined deference to the classical ideal—a thick, gilded proscenium arch, bas-relief cameos above the stage, red velvet seats—with murals of idealized Western landscapes on the walls.

Feist performing at the Orpheum theatre in Phoenix

Feist!

After intermission, Feist rocked out.

From her albums, I wasn’t sure what sort of performance to expect, but it was without doubt a rock concert. She is an energetic performer, and immediately engaged the audience—no mean feat in Phoenix. Her band filled out the jumble sale of instruments, and her backup singers were terrific—like Greek fates pulled into the present via midcentury backwoods in their draped dresses. Hearing all the songs off of Feist’s latest album, Metals, played live, I was able to hear that extra depth that was, as I had hoped, only flattened out of the recording. The old songs she played—Mushaboom, So Sorry, I Feel It All—were reworked to have the sound of her new music, while still preserving the elements that made those songs great in the first place.

We got home after a long set, the perfunctory encore, and two real encores, and I for one was pretty well dead to the world the following Monday. But it was oh so worth it.

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