“We can’t ‘replace’ a band like the Cowboys, but we’ll do our best to make sure everyone has a great night,” Simple Plan wrote on their social media on Thursday to announce their return to Sherbrooke for the Fête du lac des Nations.
As they took the stage, the band members were greeted like heroes with the Star Wars soundtrack. “Thank you for the warm welcome. We’re here to party, but mostly because of the Cowboys Fringants,” said the singer, who took a moment during the concert to play Les étoiles filantes with his acoustic guitar, accompanied by Érik Caouette. A touching moment that brings together artists of different styles to celebrate the cowboys.
The withdrawal of Roxanne Bruneau and the Cowboys Fringants has angered several festival-goers who have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of performers scheduled for Thursday and Friday. However, Fête du Lac des Nations director general Cindy Trottier confirmed earlier in the evening that ticket sales had not slowed down. “Sales on the Simple Plan evening have continued to increase. “Public response remains positive,” argued Ms. Trottier.
One thing is for sure: the Grande Scène Loto Québec welcomed a dancing, singing crowd, but mostly ones who were happy to see the Canadian pop-punk group. The joy was palpable both in the spectators and in the group. Even drummer Chuck Comeau threw himself into the crowd while bodysurfing. Even if it hasn’t been the biggest audience of the week so far, Simple Plan will still have managed to fill the space in front of the main stage.
Disclaimers without a Plan B
Cindy Trottier, who would have liked to see the artists from the original cast, says she’s still very happy with the revised cast.
“When you set up a music festival and announce the artists, you definitely don’t want to change everything at the last moment. However, the health of our guest artists is more important,” reports the Director General, who announced the programming of the Fête du lac des Nations for 2023 last March.
“Turn on a dime” was the motto on Thursday morning, emphasizes Ms. Trottier. Event organizers had no choice but to use their contacts to find replacements “in the same slots.”
“We work with agencies and artist agents all year round. So we worked together with them to find new shows, but more importantly artists who are willing to take on,” explains Ms. Trottier, who applauds Paul Piché and Jay Scott’s openness to being on stage with just under a day’s preparation time.
The organization made efforts to contact Jay Scott to reassure the young adults who said they were disappointed. “Paul Piché is a legend. We think it made a lot of people happy, but we understand it wasn’t quite in the same niche. There aren’t three Roxanne Bruneau’s in Quebec. We decided to include Jay Scott in the program to satisfy the majority of festival-goers,” Ms. Trottier continues.
Concerts that calm the gray weather
Despite the rising clouds, the evening certainly didn’t start gray for festival-goers on Friday, because it was Luce Dufault who got the ball rolling in Bistro SAQ.
In an atmosphere without artificiality, accompanied by her three musicians, Luce Dufault sang for a nostalgic audience and sang like sardines.
The artist attracted so many festival-goers that there were at least fifty people outside the tent, not counting the lucky few who managed to sneak inside. The unfortunate ones who weren’t comfortably seated headed to the courtyard of Jacques Cartier Park to listen to the artist’s hits like “What’s Left of Us,” “Say How Much I Love You,” and “Soirs de Scotch.”
The sun rose just before nightfall for the 2Frères show. “It’s been too long since we played Sherbrooke here. It’s a pleasure to be with you,” said Érik Caouette. The two brothers started the evening with Under the Same Roof. This was followed by Nirvana, all with a rainbow in the background heralding a festive Friday.
The 2Frères also paid tribute to the Cowboys Fringants by singing “Toune d’automne” during their encore. A small thought that did not leave the public indifferent; He cheered on the duo for just over two minutes.
On the Bell stage side, the crowds were small, but it’s not the end of the world, as Ariane Roy’s song so aptly says. It was she who played in front of a fan club from 7:30 p.m. with her group of four musicians. A very intimate show but very crazy with the eclectic play of lights and the effects in the singer’s microphone.
Her rendition of Diane Tell’s “Oft, Long, A Lot” deserves a special mention. A soft voice for the ears but full of life that takes a lot of breath.
Here is a summary of the evening in pictures.