(Quebec) Monday night at the Quebec City Summer Festival will go down in history. By adding one more day to allow the Cowboys Fringants to resume the show canceled on Thursday due to bad weather, the FEQ organization allowed festival-goers to see an incomparable show, endowed with the emotional charge that we had been rarely given to live.
We felt it from the start, when Karl Tremblay let a few bars pass before starting to sing Ici-bas. The singer, who is battling prostate cancer, was clearly touched to the core of his being by the wave of love that swept over him as he entered in front of the approximately 90,000 spectators.
The emotion quickly gave way to celebration when Jérôme Dupras lent his bass to his colleague Jean-François Pauzé for the time to harangue the crowd in the introduction of The Queen. After passing behind the percussion, the bassist even pretended to play the riff of Thunderstruck, of AC/DC – it was the band’s touring guitarist who played the notes composed by Angus Young. Les Maisons All Identical, from the most recent album Les antipodes, has precisely highlighted the rich arrangements delivered by the 10 musicians on stage – a brass section, two guitarists and a drummer supported the Cowboys on the Plains.
While Jérôme Dupras took a crowd bath to go sing Ti-Cul with the public, however, we felt that Karl Tremblay did not have the same confidence behind the microphone. The singer sat down at the end of the song, the giant screens went out, and Jean-François Pauzé approached the microphone to announce that the singer was going to take a break. But he was interrupted by the principal concerned. “We’ll take the break later,” said Karl Tremblay. Bring me the chair, that song is good to sing sitting down! This song was The Crossing, interpreted with a rare emotion, more than we have ever heard in a show. Near us, in the crowd, many people couldn’t hold back their tears, the same for the journalist colleagues who barely concealed their reaction, especially when Karl Tremblay fervently supported one of the key passages of the song: “We’re not afraid of NOTHING!” »
He regained his composure on Plus rien, to better declare his love for the Festival d’été de Québec.
The show ended with Tant qu’on a de l’amour, enhanced by a choir composed spontaneously by Jérôme Dupras, who had just taken a second bath in the crowd on a particularly exciting Awikatchikaën – the bassist-crowd entertainer and incidentally doctor in geography had also taken the opportunity to do a drum solo just before!
Les Cowboys Fringants concluded this exceptional evening with The Shooting Stars, magnified by a constellation of cellphone lights stretching to the top of the hill, far from the stage, before ending with a surprise, Un p’tit tour, a song the band had only performed once this year, at the Bell Center in January.
Called on stage to sing Merchant Marine at the start of the first encore of Les Cowboys Fringants, it was Sara Dufour who had the task of warming up the crowd at the curtain raiser, a mandate brilliantly accomplished thanks to her almost punk country-rock which also turns faster than a two-stroke engine. She even took the liberty of incorporating a few bars of Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name into her song Chic-Chocs, a high-octane formula tailor-made for a stage – and a crowd – of this magnitude. .
The Watatatow star made a heartfelt plea when she recalled being here on the Plains to watch the Cowboys Fringants show 10 years ago: “My grandma told me that when she thought of my career, she saw it as a wave that was coming, “said the young singer-songwriter.
Whoever followed on the big stage, of course, saw others, but Robert Charlebois looked frankly delighted to be there. “We missed our shot on Thursday, but we won’t miss it tonight, we promise,” he said after kicking off the show with Lack of Self-Confidence. We’re gonna heat this up for the Cowboys! »
Energetic and in voice like never before, the legendary 79-year-old singer, dressed all in white, delivered the same condensed version of his show Robert en CharleboisScope that he presented earlier this summer at the Francos – Louise Forestier was also on hand here and his pleasure was simply contagious. However, the songs chosen by Charlebois were particularly relevant in Quebec, because three of them had been premiered here in August 1974 as part of the memorable show I saw the wolf, the fox, the lion with Félix Leclerc and Gilles Vigneault – this is what launched the Superfrancofête, the first festival organized on the Plains of Abraham.
The very rock’n’roll Entr’ deux joints allowed us to see an inspired Charlebois playing the bottleneck on his microphone stand while Mon pays stood out so much that it has not aged a bit despite its 50 years of age. As for Lindbergh, it is unsurprisingly the one that resonated the most with the public, the vast majority of whom were not in the world when the monumental piece was sung here for the first time.
However, it was in Dolorès that Charlebois first referred to the 1974 show with Leclerc and Vigneault, in his inimitable list of cars he owned. He allowed himself to invent a new one, inspired by the Amphicar, this amphibious car of the 1960s: “Why not a Legault 500 or an electric Fitzgibbon 3000? With amphibious cars to cross the river, we wouldn’t need a third link? OK, that’s fine, we’re not going there! “, he launched, laughing.
A good player, Charlebois gave way to the Cowboys Fringants after a single encore; Te v’là was politely greeted, even though the crowd didn’t really ask for it. Because everyone on the Plains only had it for Karl Tremblay and his gang, who in turn created the event.