Throwback Thursday // HJF23 Night 1 – Feist w/ Jenn Grant

Hard to believe that we are a month removed from the 2023 edition of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival, but here we are, over a week into August and it’s now a memory. The lineup of 2023 was another stellar bill featuring heavy hitters such as Feist, Fleet Foxes, Tanika Charles, Maestro, Shaggy, Jah’Mila and Jenn Grant. The city was undoubtedly abuzz when the initial announcement dropped about Feist, Shaggy, Bad Bad Not Good and Fleet Foxes. Still, that buzz was only amplified when the opening acts of Jenn Grant, Jah’Mila, Sudan Archives and Fortunate Ones were added.

When it came time to kick off the main stage of the 2023 Festival, Mother Nature was on hand to keep everyone on their toes with a dousing of rain, which eventually let up by showtime. Jenn Grant was rocking this fantastic Rockabilly Suit as she strode onstage, flanked by her husband Daniel Ledwell and long-time collaborator Kim Harris. The love and admiration that Jenn and Kim held for one another was no secret as the pair of singer-songwriters beamed at each other throughout the set. It was a chance for Grant to showcase her extensive catalogue while retaining the focus on her recently released album Champagne Problems. One of the key tracks on the album “Judy” is written about Kim Harris’ mom, and the collaboration between the two is nothing short of magical. With a heavy mist hanging in the air, it added an additional sparkle to the performance. The added bonus was the fact that Jenn was opening for one of her idols (Feist), and if there were any nerves, they were well hidden from the audience.

After a brief changeover, it was time for Feist to take the stage for the only Maritime date on her Multitudes tour. The tour was supporting the indie-pop singer-songwriter’s 6th studio release Multitudes, which dropped back in April of this year. It was a set that definitely put the new album front and centre,  but at the same time didn’t shy away from those deeper cuts from her growing discography.  With a strong mist filling the night sky, Feist quipped “rain is romantic, Halifax!”, in an attempt to spin the weather so as to not dampen people’s spirits. Feist’s brand of ethereal indie-pop definitely reminds this concertgoer of the same laid-back vibe that fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Bahamas gives when he is on stage, the music just fills the space with little effort. At other points, there were shades of Tori Amos that came through Feist’s sound.

Towards the tail end of the set, the track “Sealion” (from 2007’s The Reminder) made its appearance. The song was beefed up into a percussive triumph that jolted awake the Halifax crowd, between Leslie’s scintillating guitar work and her drummer’s thick backing beat. The song played on, inviting those in attendance to clap along as she ventured out onto the steel bridge that spanned the pit in front of the stage. As the main set wore on, “Sealion” was followed up with a rocked-up version of “I Feel It All”. Night one closed out on Feist’s infectious “1234”,  and sent everyone home happy and damp. It was a great way to spend an evening on the Halifax waterfront, kicking off the festival on the main stage.


Jenn Grant

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.