It was the first of two evenings in Montreal for Angèle. A concert where the vocal performance of the singer was matched only by the quality of the staging. The Belgian and her Quebec public shared a moment of pure pleasure.

Angèle’s Nonante-five tour had stopped the previous two weekends in the Californian desert for performances at the famous Coachella festival. This shows how much the Belgian singer is making her mark, beyond the French-speaking world, but not only. On a North American tour for a few weeks, she meets her English-speaking audience over the course of her stops, in the United States and Canada.

But this weekend, in Quebec, Angèle finds herself in familiar territory. With an audience that she met in her early days and that she returns to see regularly. “You can’t know how happy I am to be back tonight, I missed you so much,” she told Bell Center spectators early in the evening. You had to hear the crowd cheering him on, reacting to his every word, every dance step.

After a roller coaster ride (a visual theme of the album) on the giant screen at the back of the stage, which leads us into a universe as colorful as Angèle’s pop, the latter makes her appearance on the chords of More sense. In front of our eyes, a simple high platform of three luminous steps and, on each side, the four musicians of the singer. Without being excessive, the staging is up to the ambitions of Angèle, who told us in an interview a few days earlier that she wanted to present a show that throws.

In a shimmering black skirt, pink top and white shoes, always elegant, she opens her show alone, her long blonde hair twirling as she does a few dance steps. Then, dancers, who will often be present during the evening, join her. The choreographies are superbly executed, adding great value to the staging. If she has sought to bring dance into her performances since she presented her shows in larger venues, we feel that this concert is more licked, more “pop” than ever, for the pleasure of all.

Most of the time, Angèle joins her dancers for these moments that galvanize the crowd. As if to introduce Positive Thoughts, as she and six of the dancers move in unison. And when she starts to sing, she doesn’t stop moving in rhythm, moving with intention on the stage, without missing a step. It is impressive to see her mastering the execution of her songs so well, her pretty voice always fair and clear, while she almost never stops swaying her hips.

As we said, there is a very special bond between Angèle and her admirers from Quebec. It was a reunion night on Saturday. A little over three years ago, Angèle filled her first Bell Centre. It was just before the pandemic, we hadn’t seen her on this side of the Atlantic since. However, she had time to concoct a very nice second album, Nonante-five, which offered a lovely sequel to the popular Brol, the one who launched it.

On the song Oui ou non, taken from this first disc, the whole room seemed to sing every word in unison. Same for the next one, Forget everything. And this time, for those who didn’t know the lyrics, Angèle planned the trick: she scrolled through the lyrics of the song on the screen behind. The Bell Center then hosted the biggest karaoke we’ve ever seen, some 11,000 people singing along with the Belgian.

The artist is well aware of the magnitude of the thing. She herself seems incredulous when she recounts the path travelled. But to see all the work she has put into the show she is presenting this weekend, we fully understand how she got there. Everything is thought out about this show, everything is done to delight the crowd, to ensure that they will leave the room feeling that the artist has given them the most that she could give them.

After Promise Me, she presents Your Queen, which she says she wrote “spontaneously”, which started out as a love song, but mostly “a lesbian love song”. The lesbian pride flag on her shoulders, she creates a very strong moment, as much by the words she interprets as by the accuracy of her interpretation – what a voice! The excellent musicians around her make it possible to give the songs of the Belgian an additional dimension, a tenfold impact.

Speaking of impact, the staging has often created moments of surprise, so that we never get bored. After slipping away for a moment, she reappears, for example, on a raised platform to sing Lost. Mornings, I want your eyes (after which the dancers had their own moment to throw us to the ground with their sequences), Love, hatred and danger, Time will do things (one of his most beautiful last releases ) follow.

Angèle is most generous during this concert, offering around twenty songs, strung together without rush, leaving time for the public to revel in every moment.

Before becoming a singer-songwriter, Angèle was above all a pianist. A piano-voice moment is therefore an essential part of his performances. Behind her keyboard, she sings the magnificent Taxi, “to continue with the sad songs”.

A diaphanous screen deployed at the forefront on which images are projected allows the scenography to be changed, adding a grandiose visual effect, as the artist interprets the powerful Tempest. Then come Bad Dreams, Free (after a costume change!), Blurred. For the popular Fever, the British Dua Lipa accompanies her virtually, her face broadcast on the big screen.

The super-popular Balance ton quoi, the one who launched Angèle’s career and who still makes the crowd react the most, concludes the festivities before the encore, during which she sings Démons (in duet with Damso, on the giant screen ) and, finally, his hymn to love for his city, Bruxelles je t’aime.

Angèle is a complete artist. Attending this concert proved it to us once again. She is as confident and determined as she seems humble. She is as talented as she is generous. It presents pop music that is not devoid of the depth that can touch hearts, but that also knows how to dance and have fun, quite simply.