January 27, 2023

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All living things from the universe | Song, Love, Care

After the Christmas album a year ago, the compilationLive from the universe This year has created a show for the holidays. We popped into their bubble before Monday’s show at the Salle Andre-Mathieu in Laval and caught up with the show.


Preparations

A set ofLive from the universe Made up of six singers and five musicians, France Beaudoin can be seen every week in the show. Tight with their television schedules, they organized a mini-tour of about ten dates, which took them to various cities around Montreal.

Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

Newcomer Jason McNally chats with his colleagues in the boxes.

“When we planned this last year, we were still in a pandemic and we didn’t know if it would work! We were hoping to roll it out for years,” explains singer Roxanne Fillion, who serves as the project’s artistic director.

But really, everyone does their part. We learned from the incredible Captain France, a producer and presenter who brings people together. We are from that school and it could not have been otherwise.

Roxanne Fillion

If there’s one word to describe the troops, they all repeat, it’s the word “family.” “This is the family we chose,” says Roxanne Fillion.

Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

Virginia Cummins has been with the show since its inception 14 years ago, and the other five backing singers have been there for 10 years.

“We’re all different, but everyone adds something and likes the other’s voice, Virginie Cummins underlines. When we’re all together, it’s magic. For the album and for this series of shows, everyone got their hands dirty. Everyone has a strong opinion besides singing. »

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Sound test

  • Monday's show was the third show of the series, so sound check was a prime time to make small adjustments.  The atmosphere is light, but focused: after the first mix, while the musicians work on other aspects of the show, six singers spend very long minutes refining a harmony – and talking a little about everything.  .

    Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

    Monday’s show was the third show of the series, so sound check was a prime time to make small adjustments. The atmosphere is light, but focused: after the first mix, while the musicians work on other aspects of the show, six singers spend very long minutes refining a harmony – and talking a little about everything. .

  • Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

    “We pay a lot of attention to details, we are cheeky, says Virginie Cummins. We always do it, find the best formula, the best recipe to reach the peak of a song. »

  • Jason McNally signs off on most of the vocal arrangements, but all six singers know each other so well that things flow naturally.

    Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

    Jason McNally signs off on most of the vocal arrangements, but all six singers know each other so well that things flow naturally. “This combination between our voices gives this project a color. After 10 years, it cannot be found. My gift is to always go further in the reconciliation work and challenge myself. »

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Before the show

Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

Singers get the perfect song (still) in a dressing room. Here, Jason McNally, Emily Janvier and Roxanne Fillion.

After the sound check, some young parents are going to do little FaceTime with their children. It’s dinner time, the pizza has arrived, and people are scattering everywhere to eat. “We know in advance where we’re going to eat in each city,” says music director Jean-Benoit Lasante. That’s the idea of ​​doing this Christmas show together. We are family, that says it all. Everyone wants to be there. »

Jason McNally is ironing his shirt as the singers begin to put on their stage clothes. “I like to do it, it calms me down. The night of the premiere at L’Assomption, everyone was very stressed,” she says.

We are not at home, on the set, we come to people. Circumstances are different. But we’re family, and it’s a big party. And if anything, we help each other! We are here to help and love each other.

Jason McNally

“Each member of the team cares for the others. This is what makes our strength,” believes Roxanne Filion.

Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

Roxanne Fillion, Virginie Cummins, Jason McNally and Caroline Cote before taking to the stage

Monday night was the first time the group performed without a teleprompter: with 66 songs on the clock – including no less than 22 tracks of the commercial medley, sung in whole or in part! – There is a lot, a lot of text to learn.

“But we trust each other a lot,” says Roxanne Fillion. This is our mandate Live from the universe, should be everyone’s safety net. So if one of us steps into the void, we’ll take it. »

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program

“If people love us, it’s because on TV, Jason McNally believes, we’ve been able to show that we’re 100% real. It’s indescribable, this complicity. »

Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

Six singers are always on stage, even during others’ solos.

“We are here for the singers, explains musical director Jean-Benoit Lasante. We are part of the team, but it is their show. After all, the presentation of the musicians is made from the beginning of the show: it is clear, the team spirit reigns.

Jean-Benoit LaSande marvels at the talent of the singers, perhaps more than the performance. “Because I listen to them individually. I find singers’ solos. »

In fact, the beauty and precision of these shadow artists’ voices is remarkable, and we also get to know them during their performances. This friendly aspect – there are many knowing glances and smiles – and the unpretentiousness, like the choice of songs, is one of the show’s charms. We’re not here for an exclusive Christmas repertoire, but rather one of atmosphere, themes and musical styles.

Photo by Catherine Lefebvre, special collaboration

Singers in action

“We picked songs that we liked,” says Jason McNally. It’s more personalized than what we usually do,” notes Jean-Benoit Lasante. We think of everyone: Christmas celebrators and drink lovers no matter how sad or depressed they are.

“We live up to the values ​​of the holiday season,” asserts Roxane Filion. But talking about the little red-nosed reindeer is refreshing. And seeing six people give each other so much love and sow happiness around them.