In Turn of the block, Michael Rivard celebrates a career spanning 50 years with grace and elegance, taking him on a journey through his music and time with some twenty songs. Surrounded by eight musicians and three singers, he delivers a comfortable performance into which we slowly curl up.
“When it’s your birthday and you get a Surprise, you have no control over what happens. But if you’re the one inviting the people you love, make sure they’re having fun too,” explains the singer-songwriter over the phone the day after the second show of his tour, which took place on Wednesday at L’Étoile in Brossard, where we attended.
Michel Rivard, who will be performing on the stage of the Théâtre Maisonneuve in Montreal this Friday and Saturday, was relieved to have given his first show at Langue last weekend.
This show has been my obsession for a year. Leading up to the premiere, I asked myself: Did we make the right choices? In good order? Do the lyrics work?
After two shows, he now knows yes. Unity takes place and he feels it fully. “This is my party, but I look at the people and feel they are happy too. I am sure it is their party too because I have not made them lonely for these 50 years!”
His only means of selecting songs would have been the essential ones he had always sung, the older ones resurrected for the occasion and a shared joy of some lesser-known ones that fit the show’s theme. In sumptuous finishes of new arrangements created by pianist François Richard, the original Flypin’ band – Rick Haworth, Mario Legare and Sylvain Clavet – are played and interpreted by a wind quartet that will “breathe and punch you”. The singers, in an exciting mix of generations, give the “joyful sound”.
After a long almost solo journey Origin of my race, Michael Rivard had a passion for sharing, communication and human warmth. Nevertheless, concerts that bring 12 artists together on stage no longer run through the streets. We wonder if the singer knows inflation is skyrocketing and the music industry is in trouble. “To use an expression from home… when you throw a party, you don’t look at the cost! “He laughs.
I have, my age. I am 71 years old. I cannot lose my comfort and joy. It’s a big boat, sure, but a 50-year-old song deserves it.
In this show with an emotional stake, the talking scenes are poetic and far from silly didactic stories, we realize that Michael Rivard’s eyes are not only turned to the past. The “longing to think” that makes people say, “It used to be good,” has very little for him. “I don’t subscribe to that. But the nostalgia of integrating one’s past, revisiting it with a smile and seeing how it contributes to our present, is no problem. »
Conclusion, at the beginning of the show, when he continues the message Turn of the blockWritten a month ago, and Motel “My Rest”, His first composition, dating back to 1972, is “the same guy” despite the decades apart.
“I sense continuity. It’s what allows him to walk through his repertoire without following a timeline, on a journey “loose in the fur of time,” as he says. A pretty long journey indeed, in two parts, which is increasingly rare. “We cut tunes to fit it into one piece. We tried, but every time we started screaming. So I decided: there will be a break, and we’ll deal with it so that it passes quickly anyway. »
We assure him: I want to see the sea at Beware of too much love passes through The Return of Don Quixote, there is no risk of boring. And Michael Rivard, he still delights in interpreting, among other things, giving these long-loved songs a new patina.
I learned it from my teachers. In the same year, I saw James Taylor, Neil Young, Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen. Every time, they entertain me by making tunes that I love to listen to and surprise me with new arrangements. It taught me a lesson.
It’s even more moving to watch him be touched by a chorus of slowly inhaling audience members A seal’s lament in Alaska At the end of the first part… it’s really not surprising! “True, but that doesn’t mean I take it lightly. People singing along makes me feel good. It gets me every time I see her so adopted. »
If Michael Rivard created this new show, it was to bring joy, because he wanted to. “If it was more important for me to say no, I wouldn’t do this tour, we’re going to do a show with new tunes. »
Fortunately, the tour that’s just started will last for good: an additional tour was announced at Franco’s in June, with venues added for the fall and even winter of 2024. Wherever she wants to go. And I’ve never heard anything better. »
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