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Feist Cools Things Down at This Tent

“The Bonnaroo bird sanctuary — one, two, three, go,” exclaimed Broken Social Scene songstress Feist as she took to the stage at This Tent on Sunday (June 17), prompting the audience to fill the room with whistling and chirping, just one of many invitations requiring crowd participation. Earlier in the concert, before performing “So Sorry,” she had fans sounding like a church choir. She asked people to sing one of three notes, depending on how far they traveled to get to Bonnaroo, and her supporting instrumentalists also displayed some impressive vocal harmonizing during the show.

The voice to focus on here, however, has to be Feist’s, which managed to sound feathery, unwavering, confident and totally in control. She could have read aloud books you’d thrown away to make room for the phonebook and still sounded fantastic.

Meri Fisher, 18, of Atlanta, Ga., was working at Bonnaroo the day before the gig when she saw Feist walk by. “I almost knocked over the corn dog stand trying to get out [to her],” she said. She also unexpectedly found Feist in her home — Fisher’s parents were playing her music, and Fisher hadn’t introduced them to it. She said that her parents are “not that hip,” and that Feist “transcends all ages.”

The wide appeal of Feist’s music was also clear in the crowd, which showed its support by cheering so loudly that I almost put in some ear plugs, telling Feist how beautiful she was in between songs, and celebrating her native Canada. A male fan also had a giant Canadian flag in his hands, while a red-and-white beach ball decorated with a Canadian Maple Leaf and Feist song titles (I could only make out “MUSABOO” when it was moving, but the intention was clear regardless) bounced around the adoring crowd. “It goes down easy,” Feist repeated during “Brandy Alexander.” Feist’s Bonnaroo performance — it all went down smoother than maple syrup. ALEX DIMITROPOULOS