• By: Keith Whittier

Feist Brings Pleasure, Rain Brings Commotion to Close Out Jazz Fest

Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series is back! We'll provide a unique look at some of your favourite events.
We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on
the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. 

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Photos by Andre Gagne

Taking the crowd through her entire new album (save Young Up), Feist began her TD Ottawa Jazz Festival set with the beautifully sunny on the distorted sucker punch of "Pleasure" with lights flashing and the crowd screaming. Continuing on the creeping harmonies of "I Wish I Didn't Miss You" and the rattling bass of " Get Not High, Get Not Low " she rocked out on her acoustic harder than most do on an electric.

Cursing out the looming clouds (which would come back to bit her) she chugged through "Lost Dreams", as her lighted fan bloomed to make the shrill finale all the more special. Bouncing around the stage as she shredded to "Any Party" she cracked up the audience with her banter while wowing with her playing. Ushering in the call and response sessions for the night on "Any Party" she kept it all going through "A Man Is Not His Song" as the rain started a light drip.

Singing about the weather-inspired track "The Wind" she let the rain act as its own sound, quieting the crowd to take it in, before meditating through the ambient, dreamy track. Getting intense, "Century" her taking her lighting rig into overdrive as she thrashed around the stage with her fan back out. All the while lightning flashing in the distance, provided a powerful reminder of both the nature and intensity she was singing about. 

Going into one last lighter song for "Baby Be Simple" she had light hums floating throughout the drenched crowd as they hung on her every high-pitched note. "I'm Not Running Away" found Feist taking leaning aggressively into her riffs, and taking the final chorus wails with vigor, ending the album play through a track early. 

As the rain hit hard she moved into "My Moon My Man" to cheer up the audience, having them clap and sing along as she brought them through the catchy and addictive grooves the track lays out. With everyone but the die-hards scrambling out in the now penetrating downpours, she shot into "A Commotion" with a sneer, joking about its appropriateness given how badly the crowd was hit. She blasted through the song all the same, as she seemed all the more determined to put on the best show she could for the fans willing to bear it, as the crowd leaned into the dual-energy of the show and storm.

Moving to "Sea Lion Woman" the crowd was clapping aggressively, as Feist was taking the weather as a challenge, shredding through every riff and kicking up a frenzy on stage. Switching to "I Feel It All" she cut her aggression for her chipper euphoria, bouncing through the track with joy. Taking a moment to herself for "Mushaboom" the band left as her fan light, came back noticeably turning her into a peacock from the right point of view when she stuck in place. Bringing it all to a close, she told the fascinating story of her friend that inspired "1 2 3 4" before wrapping the night and thanking the crowd for being such troopers.

I Wish I Didn't Miss You
Get Not High, Get Not Low
Lost Dreams
Any Party
A Man Is Not His Song
The Wind
Baby Be Simple
I'm Not Running Away
My Moon My Man
A Commotion
Sea Lion Woman/I Feel It All



Local Hilotrons buzzed loudly through their set, locking into their deep grooves and riding them like a rollercoaster through solos. Between two mics and the mind-warping sonic explorations provided by a massive keyboard rig and some pedalboards, they had no shortage of thongs to say to the crowd. Dropping into. A shaking synth bass jam in the middle Of their set the band went frantic and you could hear the satisfaction from the crowd as they slipped in and out of their biggest moments.

Allison Au Quartet:

Dropping one of most balanced sets of jazz of the festival, this quartet brought that perfect mix of frantic soloing and smooth grooves. Bringing something for jazz beginners and the devout alike, their very classic sounding jazz brought glistening piano, popping bass and some of most exciting sax lines to hit the festival all week. With drums that went from snapping to almost water-like they popped from member to member as if they had ESP.