[Critique] “Bye Bye Bye Karim”, a poignant vigil at the Francos

“If there’s a monster under my bed, I won’t sleep / I’ll take it by the horns and make a meal out of it,” sang Karim Ouellet. Sunday night, Place des Festivals, tens of thousands of fans and about twenty friends on stage, undertook the task of putting to sleep the monster that sometimes appeared in his songs. The concert Goodbye Karim, both sober and festive, has taken on the appearance of a rite of passage: from darkness to light, from pain to the happiness of knowing that the deceased is still with us through his work.

“As the sky is dark this morning / Squatting in the shadows, I’m not afraid of anything anymore,” Karim sang again on the song. The Mistsfrom the album Fox (2012). The concert opened so solemnly, with his song, his voice blaring out from the speakers for minutes while photos of him were projected onto the front of the university building along Avenue du President-Kennedy. On stage, a projector illuminated his fox mask, which was attached to the end of a guitar neck.

When Ariane Moffatt appeared on stage to perform There was once, the emotion was already as tangible as the dampness of that evening, which was threatened by the absent storm – this monster was also put to sleep. “Hello, my beautiful Karim! ‘ she began before being simply accompanied by an acoustic guitar until the ten musicians, all of whom accompanied Ouellet, joined her to elevate the finale.

Girlfriend Gabrielle Shonk came in relief, first for a remarkably intense version of In the falling nightthen for the race, this time accompanied by one of the singers of Karim’s orchestra, Amélie Nault. Claude Bégin and his sister Élise, singer and confidant of Karim, followed to offer There’s no point in runninga pearl of pop success with resounding disco accents that her boyfriend had never interpreted in his shows.

A good twenty minutes had just passed, but a certain heaviness remained, on stage and yet in the crowd. We danced, we sang the choruses, a lump in our stomachs. It took this time, which she spent with the singers of Karim, Audrey-Michèle Simard, Élise Bégin and Noémie Tisserand, to burst the abscess. Audrey-Michèle took the microphone first to sing the first verse, then the chorus, of The Beautiful Marie-Joalso removed Fox “When we’re together everything seems so beautiful / Baby please / Jesus, Marie-Jo”. Élise took her hand to sing the suite with her, then Noémie.

It was nice to cry. It was a relief: we had to shed this tear to finally be able to enjoy the show, the talents gathered on stage, the great songs by Karim Ouellet, his legacy. Claude and Élise returned to the stage for an acoustic version of FoxLa Bronze was responsible for blowing on the embers and raising the temperature with funk pop stone heartthen three of the troublemakers from the Alaclair Ensemble made the show a celebration by confessing love : “Ah-ha, tell me that we are two, my beauty, and that your voice is calling me / And tell me what are we going to do? / We make love, we make war,” said the chorus of the tens of thousands of spectators.

Claudia Bouvette then offered a hot version rosescompletely in the pop spirit with the rap tones of the song, and meanwhile shone with the same intensity in the duet with Hubert Lenoir Oh ! nope, Lenoir’s rascal buzzes around the singer like a bee around a daylily. Similar chemistry for the duo that brings Moffatt and Lenoir together Not feasible — it was so playful that Ariane even lost her shoe!

Everyone from Ariane to Valaire who was invited to a medley put themselves valiantly at the service of Ouellet’s compositions. This hastily put together concerto revealed its inaccuracies in execution, the sometimes uneven brass, the here and there cracking voices (which we’ll attribute to emotion), the few hiccups in the sound system. But it was as advertised: a vigil, a little loose, but so loving, generous, connecting that we can only applaud.

After several other good numbers, a gentle solo piano version of Feather served by Moffatt, a powerful duo of Fanny Bloom and La Bronze (December) the unofficial master of ceremonies Luis Clavis presented an unreleased recording by Karim Ouellet with the title Hereditary. A small part of the veil lifted on the album that he should have finished and which probably would have heralded a new chapter in his musical career: the lyrics, the melody, from the great Ouellet but linked to a production closer to of contemporary hip aesthetics. Hop, featuring a studio-developed acoustic guitar theme and fat synthetic basses. The lyrics of this unreleased song borrowed a verse family of the Alaclair Ensemble that they went singing while “freaking out” the chorus, as KNLO put it, to make the crowd say, ” rest in peace to Karim! »

Before the encore, all the musicians gathered on the stage. Sarahmée stayed backstage throughout the show and joined them, only to speak through a constricted throat: “Mom,” she said, looking at the stage, “look how people loved Karim! “.

To see in the video

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