Elvis Presley died today, August 16, 1977. But for 27 years, Martin Fontaine has been bringing him back to life on stage. With the new version ofElvis experiencecoming to the Théâtre St-Denis tonight, the performer wants to immerse the audience in a show made by the king in 1972.
When he got the concept ofElvis experience, in 2013, Martin Fontaine knew he was creating an idea with almost infinite possibilities. WhileElvis storywhich he had played for 12 years had a fairly rigid format, that ofElvis experience can be renewed every evening.
“I can build concerts every day,” says Martin Fontaine. It’s always a different directory. I do the lyrics in flight [sur le moment]. It gives us great artistic freedom. That keeps that magic fresh. »
With kind approval
After addressing Elvis’ Vegas years, this time Martin Fontaine wanted to recreate the tour the King did in North America in 1972.
“We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this tour with the name Elvis on tour, he said. She had been acted in a film. I got a lot of inspiration from that. They were powerful rock shows. It was on steroids. It’s almost a historical re-enactment. »
Create the illusion
Martin Fontaine addresses the audience in English, as he has done since his debut as an impersonator of the king, as if Elvis were actually playing in front of them.
“Anything could happen in a concert with Elvis. He improvised a lot. He was unpredictable. He was a ham. He fooled around with the public and with his tape. He could surprise her and change the order of the songs. That was the fun with Elvis. He was like a well-endowed singer. »
Interesting Fact: Elvis was 37 years old at the time Elvis on tour. Martin Fontaine, he? There are 20 more! “It’s a pleasure, a privilege and an honor to do it again and create the illusion,” says the singer, who is aware he won’t be able to play the King for 27 years. “The discipline and rigor it takes to sustain a show like this for long is more difficult than it was before.”
Despite this, when it is mentioned to him that he announced last spring that he would be saying goodbye to Elvis at the end of 2022, Martin Fontaine is suddenly less agreeable.
“I don’t decide, life decides,” he says at first. Artist, what we want in life is to play. But we don’t decide. Maybe one day the phone will ring. I always pretended it was the last show. »
“I will never lose this joy”
So first the showsElvis experience Announced in 2022 are the “last” for Martin Fontaine as Elvis. But if we’re going to rely on the buzz the show is generating again this year – the singer claims to have had a fabulous reaction at Gatineau this summer – we highly doubt his King costumes will be put away forever.
“The most important thing is to have fun. i still have it I will never lose this joy of embodying the character and sharing it with people. »
Elvis experience is being performed at the St-Denis Theater in Montreal tonight and through Saturday. The show will then go to Trois-Rivières (from August 23rd to 27th), Saguenay (from September 1st to 4th) and Quebec (from December 7th to 31st). elvisexperience.com.
Go beyond the beaten path
Martin Fontaine still hasn’t seen Baz Luhrmann’s film about the king, elvis. But according to the Quebec singer, a private screening for his show team is scheduled to take place later this week. Elvis experienceat the St-Denis Theatre.
Having only seen the trailer for the feature film, the singer has already recognized the filmmaker’s attention to detail, who “brilliantly and accurately” reproduces certain well-known moments in Elvis’ life.
“He started with documents or photos that we already knew by heart and he reproduced them perfectly,” says Martin Fontaine. I found that disgusting. »
However, the singer hopes that the production ofelvis tried to go “off the beaten path”. “As a guy like me who’s seen them a million times, I like to look for images we’ve never seen before. Him [Luhrmann], he started from things that were very present in our heads. It’s probably an artistic approach that he wanted to do. I hope he’s gone further and we’re seeing things we’ve never seen before. »
Would Martin Fontaine, who knows the life of Elvis inside out, have been consulted for this film? “I can’t pretend I know more than family [d’Elvis], he said. When approached as consultants on the film, there were instances where they clearly wanted to romance, or people they wanted to repress. »
Elvis Presley in 10 Dates…
January 8, 1935
Birth of Elvis Aaron Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi. Eleven years later, on the same day, little Elvis gets his first guitar for his birthday, which cost less than 10 dollars.
November 6, 1948
The Presley family moves to Memphis, Tennessee. Young Elvis gets the biggest round of applause at his high school’s annual talent show.
Nov. 21, 1955
Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records. His musical career had started. The following year, the singer recorded his first album, which featured the hit heartbreak hotel.
Nov. 15, 1956
First film in which Elvis acts. Justified love me tenderlythe feature film is set in the southern United States in the 1800’s. It was an instant hit at the box office.
March 25, 1957
Recently proclaimed “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis buys Graceland for $102,500. He moved there with his parents and paternal grandparents.
March 24, 1958
At the age of 23, Elvis is recruited by the army. He trained at Fort Hood, Texas for six months. He then went to Germany for 18 months.
In Germany Elvis met the young Priscilla Beaulieu. At 14, she is ten years younger than the singer. The couple would not marry until May 1967 and welcomed their daughter, Lisa Marie, nine months later.
March 20, 1960
After being discharged from the army earlier this year, Elvis is returning to the studio for the first time in two years. He designs the album Elvis is back!in addition to filming his fifth film some time later, GI Blues.
July 31, 1969
After an eight-year hiatus from concerts, Elvis is beginning a new four-week, 57-show residency in Las Vegas. It was the longest engagement for an artist in Vegas at the time.
Aug. 16, 1977
The planet learns of the King’s death at the age of just 42 from a heart attack. The singer had seen his health deteriorate in recent years. His funeral will take place two days later. Elvis is buried next to his parents at Graceland.