We can hardly believe it. Was this really MC Solaar’s second concert in Montreal? His second with us, thirty years after his first visit – at the Spectrum, again at the invitation of the FrancoFolies which were held at the time in autumn? If memory can play tricks on us, all it took was one or two bars of his classics for his rhymes to come back to our mouths: last night, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, the old fans rapped in chorus with the legend, who must now tell himself that he should visit us more often.
Claude M’Barali did not do things by halves, bringing together on stage nearly thirty musicians for his “New Big Band Project”, whose musical direction was provided by Issam Krimi, keyboardist and arranger recognized for his work. with hip-hop artists from France (SCH, Bigflo & Oli, Lomepal, Soprano, to name a few). A generous section of strings, a more modest section of four horns, choirs, the rhythm, it was rich, although, to be picky, sometimes a little confused because of Wilfrid-Pelletier’s famously capricious acoustics.
No one is here to blame, and we bet no one left the concert complaining. What a pleasure, and a lot of nostalgia, even if it must be recognized that the vast majority of fans were there to hear again the repertoire taken from Solaar’s first two albums, Who sows the wind reaps the tempo (1991) and the masterpiece prose fight (1994), finally reissued this year.
The first short half hour of this reunion was particularly interesting. After the instrumental intro serving to warm up the orchestra, MC Solaar showed up with a cannon named Who sows the wind reaps the tempo. In the room, we shouted: “Claude MC! Claude MC! “. The artist was visibly nervous, rushing his first verse by encroaching on the strings that had just started. He corrected himself, doing the thumbs up, and delivered his text, while part of the public rose from their seats.
Taken from Prose combat, the end justifies the means, its swaying rhythm giving value to the orchestrations of violins, also hit the mark. Little by little, some spectators pulled themselves out of their row to go to the sides and dance more freely, while the others continued to wonder if it was better to live this moment standing or sitting. MC Solaar himself did not seem decided yet, studiously threading his stanzas, but displaying a certain reserve.
The orchestra frankly rendered quite well the flowing boom bap groove of Sequel (she also from Prose Fight), pushing the reluctant to try the standing experience. When did she arrive Obsolete, the last seated jumped up; the chorister also stepped out of his ranks to play the role of hype man and responding to the rhymes of Solaar, who seemed to have chased the stage fright away, gesturing and reciting with new energy.
The evening then took its stride, the rapper drawing from his lesser-known albums — although the excellent When the sun gets coldtaken from Heavenly (1997), had its followers recognizing the intensity of the rhythm and its subject, here accompanied by a beautiful electric guitar solo. The sequence of two other classics from the first album, Part time and Fashion victimsealed the deal: it was stretching in the rows!
Solaar later spoiled us with The concubine of hemoglobin, New Western (superbly executed, beautiful presence of the strings), the disturbing Armand is dead — also richly orchestrated, the original recording sampling none other thanInner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) by Marvin Gaye —, Get out of here and the funky Music soothes the soulbefore concluding with carolina, another essential. MC Solaar received last night the full of ovations, all deserved.
In the first part, the Outaouais rapper D-Track seemed to live a dream of being able to warm up the room for one of his models. Simple and warm, his performance delighted the public of Solaar, lovers of well-turned texts. his album Hull, released last November, represents a peak in his career; D-Track recently released an EP titled Vol. 2, and is already announcing a new album in the fall.
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The canonization of Claude MC
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