With soothing simplicity, Roch Voisine presented one of the last concerts of his “Americana Light” tour in the metropolis on Wednesday evening in the Cabaret du Casino de Montréal.
In an acoustic formula (without drums), supported by a set of strings (guitars, “pedal steel” and double bass), the singer took up the country-folk repertoire of bygone times, with which he adapted the “Americana” concept 12 years ago turned to . Concept that allowed him to record a trilogy of albums, launched consecutively in 2010 and 2011, whose basic idea was formulated by his record company in France.
Sometimes sitting on his stool with an acoustic guitar in hand, sometimes standing with the front rows on the floor laughing, the New Brunswicker opted for softness on “Always On My Mind”, “Free Fallin'” – who knew how to accentuate sets the tone of his voice and his vocal prowess in the highs – but also “Heart Of Gold” – for which he pulled out his harmonica – and “That’s How I Got To Memphis”.
MARIO BEAUREGARD/QMI AGENCY
For Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” he pulled out the “crooner” game, did a few dance steps, winked, and spontaneously grinned at the ladies, who occasionally sang his name.
The warm light – never too strong or too much – and the barn wood decorating the back of the stage enhanced the impression of being cocooned or by the fire with the singer. This evening again exuded an atmosphere of conviviality, where the vocal harmonies of the singer, the four musicians and a choir singer provided magical moments, especially on “Seven Bridges Road” and “California Dreaming” at the beginning of the concert.
Without hiding its joy, the room was sometimes captivated, sometimes very reactive, welcoming Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”, Elvis’ “Suspicius Mind” or even John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. The cabaret audience also took liberty to launch a few “I love you” and “Vas-y mon Roch” between the songs. The 1960s did nothing to dampen the singer’s sparkling charisma, who wore a short, graying beard on his protruding chin.
Roch Voisine shared a bit of the story behind the hits, which he loved to repeat, and also performed “Mille après mille,” a reminder of the “Ranch à Willie” era where the room spontaneously began to sing while they were in clapped hands. Without forgetting the piece “City of New Island” by Steve Goodman, which became “Salut les amours” in the mouth of Joe Dassin.
MARIO BEAUREGARD/QMI AGENCY
Today, on the last mile, “Americana” also comes in a more muscular version, intended for festivals. Roch Voisine also gave a foretaste of this at the end of the concert, deviating from the acoustic formula reserved for the halls. The drummers were quickly set up on stage by the musicians as the encore began, just in time for “Pretty Woman”. A number that has certainly not fallen on deaf ears; much of the audience jumped out of their seats from the first notes of the song, waddled around, clapped their hands and hummed the lyrics.
The group then continued with “Johnny Be Good,” which sounded downright 1950’s rock party and provided a contrast to the rest of the evening.
The songwriter continues his theatrical tour, with planned stops in L’Assomption and Gatineau. He will then be performing in Europe from March before returning to his last few halls in Quebec in the fall and to festivals this summer.
The artist should also make a possible return accompanied by his acolytes Garou and Corneille for the cover of “Forever Gentlemen”.