Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade offered the inaugural concert of her first tour in five years at Maison symphonique on Wednesday. It was a moment of enveloping and impeccable music, which also launched the Festival international de jazz de Montréal.
It’s not every night that you see people dancing at the Maison symphonique. Carried by the gently catchy rhythm of Nunca es suficiente, a great success by Natalia Lafourcade whose enthusiastic crowd sang the chorus, couples took a few steps on Wednesday, hands tied, bodies synchronized and, we guessed it without seeing it, smile on their lips.
The wave of happiness has not dropped a notch, on the contrary, with the following track, Tú sí sabes quererme, taken from an album dating from 2017, Musas, and which is obviously among the favorites of admirers of the Mexican singer.
Natalia Lafourcade indeed appeared on the garden side walking slowly, holding in her hands the very wide skirt of her black dress. The moment was intended to be imbued with a certain solemnity, but we could feel the singer entangled in this canvas of impressive diameter, which was deployed with the help of stage technicians after she had taken her place on the chair placed in the center of the stage.
We did not know it yet, but this concert – the first of two that she presents in Montreal, the other being scheduled for this Thursday – inaugurated her first tour in five years. “There are things that are ready and others that are not, made a point of specifying Natalia Lafourcade, in whom we did not feel a crumb of stage fright. Life is like that. She was right not to tremble: if she hadn’t mentioned it, you wouldn’t have thought that she and her band weren’t already perfectly honed.
The overall movement of the concert and the execution were indeed impeccable. Focusing on the tracks from her most recent album, De todas las flores, of which she performed 9 of the 12 songs during the first part of the show, Natalia Lafourcade at first seemed to want to set up a somewhat wise framework. Surrounded by her four musicians (a pianist, a double bass player, a percussionist and a guitarist who also has a superb voice), she immediately captivated the audience.
The atmosphere began to change on Llévameviento, where, drawing sometimes unusual sounds from their instruments, the musicians evoked the wind of the song, creating a moment of poetry enhanced by a flawless sound system.
Punctuated by dramatic moments, but above all marked by nostalgia, the first third of the concert oscillated between jazz desires and Cuban, Mexican and Brazilian reminiscences. All rendered with great finesse. Natalia Lafourcade, she elegantly slid her song over this charming music. The observation is self-evident: this woman has a crazy charisma. It was enough for the cadence to increase a little for the groove that was born on the stage to make the shoulders roll and the hips move in the room, which is still seated. During María La Curandera, even a stage technician couldn’t resist sketching dance steps on the courtyard side.
After a theatrical finale, Muerte, the singer left the stage to change her outfit and return to the stage wearing a white dress with fringe. The message was clear: after the journey through the throes of a breakup, it was time to come back to life. Natalia Lafourcade then sang a few boleros that accompanied her “all her life” – La Llorona, Tú me acostumbraste and Soledad y el Mar – very warmly received by the audience.
We understood at that time that Natalia Lafourcade had conceived her show as a slow crescendo. She had carefully set the table, discreetly increasing the rhythm, emphasizing the grooves more and more, to lead to the final bouquet composed among others of Lo que construimos, Hasta la raíz, Mi Tierra veracruzana and her touching Nunca es suficiente.
It was, after a little over two hours of music, a triumph. That of elegance, that of beauty, that of a group in almost perfect symbiosis and that of a singer and musician with sure taste and irresistible magnetism.