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Feist, Low Anthem show to be NEXT @ WEX

Courtesy of Wexner Center for the Arts

When thinking of contemporary art, many might picture the mind-baffling abstractions present in galleries and museums across the country and the crossed-armed head tilt and meditative “Hmm” from observers that often follow. Although visual art is certainly a part of today’s art scene, it’s not the only medium being shown at Ohio State.

Canadian singer-songwriter Feist, whose full name is Leslie Feist, is scheduled to be joined by up-and-coming indie band The Low Anthem at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Mershon Auditorium.

The concert will be part of the Wexner Center for the Arts’s NEXT @ WEX series, which aims to bring musical acts to OSU that are in-tune with the contemporary art movement, said Chuck Helm, director of performing arts at the Wexner Center.

“People like Feist and The Low Anthem are innovators at what they do, just like the artists, dancers and filmmakers we also show at the center,” Helm said. “The Wexner Center is a contemporary art center, and these are contemporary artists. It’s important for us to represent this side of what contemporary art is today, just as it’s important to represent the visual side of contemporary art.”

Feist, who released her latest album “Metals” in 2011, performed at the Wexner Center in November 2007, and was welcomed back with open arms after reaching out for a sophomore visit, Helm said.

“We presented Feist before a few years ago, so we have a relationship with her booking agents,” Helm said. “This time her team actually got in touch with us, and since we already had an interest in having her back, we were happy to accept. She puts on a great performance. She’s a fantastic singer with a great band.”

Feist’s opening act, Providence, R.I.-based band The Low Anthem, has also made its Columbus rounds, having headlined the Wexner Center’s performance space in June 2011. The band, which recently gained attention after its song “Lover Is Childlike” was featured on “The Hunger Games” soundtrack, will end its four-show tour with Feist Wednesday.

“We’ve had a couple shows with her and it’s sounding great so far,” said The Low Anthem’s Ben Knox Miller. “It’s going to be a big drum-driven, heavy-pop swing, really euphoric. It’s going to be a lot of fun to blast that sound in (Mershon Auditorium).”

As well as stressing the importance of performing arts in the contemporary art movement, having big-name artists perform at the Wexner Center is important as a university organization, Helm said.

“These kinds of shows appeal to students, but also to members of the community, and the Wexner Center was created to bridge the gap between the university and the outside community through the arts,” Helm said.

Among those OSU students hoping to bridge the gap and attend the show is Tony Randall, a third-year in psychology.

“I would describe Feist as a mix of folk and indie styles, she’s quite unique,” Randall said. “Feist definitely has an art sound, which I would contribute to the unique backdrops to her songs and personal lyrics. She doesn’t fit the ‘pop’ mold, in most cases.”

The Wexner Center’s Heirloom Café is expecting to serve regular menu items and have a cash bar until the show’s doors open at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the Wexner Center or online at wexarts.org.

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