If there is one team that has shown resilience in recent months, it is the Francos and Jazz de Montréal. Having a “big” festival in the heart of the metropolis has its share of challenges. The team took them up one after the other to present a program worthy of the name on two stages.
Photos are by Alexanne Brisson and you can see the full gallery at the bottom of the article.
After having zigzagged a bit to find the right entrance to get to my place, I finally put my penates for a first show of the Francos de Montréal 2021! I’m excited to see Lumière in concert that I haven’t seen since the release of his album. In addition, I quickly meet famous faces and friends. It fills me with great happiness. The return of the meetings does an immense good and we cross our fingers so that they never leave us again. In any case, I keep my fingers crossed.
Just as colorful as in his videos, Étienne Côté is accompanied by a solid range of musicians to deliver his songs: Daphnée Brisette (Good child), Laurent Massie (Yes thanks), Eliott Durocher (My Sweet Bleeder), Tonio Vargas-Morin (director emeritus) and N Nao. Besides, the latter had a whole evening! She played with the three artists on this stage since she followed with Laurence-Anne, then with Klô Pelgag within the venerable Grandmothers in broil. Back to Light, who gave a good rock concert with a nice touch of 60/70 inspiration which is faithful to the versions of his album A.M.I.E.S.A.M.O.U.R. It was very nice and perfect to launch a first evening of Francos.
Vendou and Laurence-Anne
Then I made the weather vane since I had seen Laurence-Anne already twice in concert this summer. I first headed towards Vendou who was living his best life on stage. Obviously happy to be there, he played several pieces from his album Millennium, released earlier this year. It was very well played. There is only the song Pink Panther, in duet with Peet, who was a little weird with this recorded “accompanist”. As the two rappers are in regular interactions during the play, having Vendou responding to a recording breaks the magic a bit. That said, it was a small pitfall in a compelling performance.
I then headed to the Bell stage to catch the rest of the concert from Laurence-Anne which once again gave a solid performance. We have covered her amply this summer and, every time, she performs on stage. This consistent quality shows how well it works. Instant zero, Strange Feeling, Accident and several other titles followed one another naturally.
Because it always has to happen at the worst time. While I was chatting with friends between two shows, a new twilight fell. We look at each other trying to find out why it is suddenly so dark and we realize that there is a power outage on the main stage. We are starting to pray that this will not be the case at the Loto-Québec stage. Obviously, the same is happening on this side. We therefore wait patiently outside the site for the power to return. About twenty minutes later, the light illuminates the site again.
As misfortunes never come alone, the concert ofAlaclair Ensemble hardly to start. There is a problem with Vlooper’s laptop. While the DJ tries to solve the problem by all means, the other members of the group have fun making animal noises. Seeing that the silence stretches, Robert Nelson, as a good president, takes the floor and launches into a tirade on evolutionary biology. We learn all kinds of interesting facts: female peacocks love big, colorful tails, humans and chimpanzees are only 1.6% behind in their genes and obviously Nelson has great respect for the SEPAQ.
As real professionals, as soon as the technical issues were resolved, the members ofAlaclair kicked off the concert with the same energy as if nothing had happened. They chained a few tracks from the most recent albums, always titillating the public with bits of What it was. It was good to find Ripa, Family are other more recent titles of the group.
Due to the delays, I spent less time with Alaclair Ensemble. So I left to see myself Klô Pelgag who officiated on the Bell stage. This time the “enclosures” of 500 people were a little fuller. When we know that the Francos tickets have sold out so quickly, it’s a little disappointing to see that some of the holders do not come on site, while fans who would like to be there cannot attend the concert. Fortunately, there are the live web broadcasts which still allow you to see the concerts, but I find it a little frustrating both for the organization and for those who would like to be there.
But back to Klô Pelgag who was visibly happy to find her Montreal audience. Surrounded by her formidable musical training, she once again proved that she is in full control of her art with a colorful concert where she even did a few pirouettes on the floor. We are witnessing a great moment in the career of one of our best artists. If you have the chance to see her in concert, do not hesitate, it’s worth the detour.
To end the evening well, the rain fell on the crowd at the end of the concert. Even Mother Nature made her temperamental. Fortunately, the pleasure of finding concerts supplanted everything. Then, it allows us to work on our inner zenitude. We are already looking forward to tonight’s concerts!
Photo credit: Alexanne Brisson