Feist’s Brilliant Colbert Performance More Proof Rock Is Alive And Well In 2017

A few weeks ago I clambered onto my high horse to declare that the band Spoon embodied the Evolution of Rock in the 21st century. I pointed to a live performance to show how this band uses elements drawn from several Rock eras, but in the end makes music that doesn’t sound like it comes from any era other than the current one. I argued that this was proof that Rock isn’t dying as the ill-informed suggest, but rather that it is thriving and growing, as those who follow these things closely will happily tell you.

Spoon is just one among dozens of artists who are carrying the torch for Rock in this way – innovative, progressive artists with the talent and the courage to keep pushing the Rock envelope forward. Let me get back on my horse and celebrate another artist who I think embodies the evolution of Rock in 2017: I’m talking about Feist. Watch her performance on Colbert last night and dare to tell me it’s not fresh-sounding, innovative Rock.

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You get a clue something different is happening before the band even plays a note. I’ve never seen a band configured on stage like this before, with the drummer’s back to the audience and the lead singer on a riser behind everyone else in the band. Feist then proceeds to pound out a great chord progression on electric guitar – a progression that includes at least one crazy, unusual chord – underneath a captivating melody which carries lyrics musing about love’s timelessness. This is real original stuff, and it is 100% Rock.

On Feist’s brilliant new album Pleasure this track “Century” features a spoken word section by spoken word master Jarvis Cocker. For this performance Stephen Colbert covers the Jarvis Cocker section, and the effect is a bit bizarre but it still works in the context of the song. Time is both fleeting and eternal at the same time.

There are those who dismiss Feist as a lightweight on the basis of her massive ”1,2,3,4” frippery from 10 years ago. Those people need to watch this clip and think again. I think she is one of the leading lights of Rock today.

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