Agnes Obel @ Corona Theatre – 13th September 2018

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agnes obel montreal

“3 first songs. No flash. Oh, and there’s no pit.”

It’s ok, I wasn’t expecting a pit for this kind of gig, to be honest.

I will review this concert with the eyes and ear of a photographer because, to be honest, I can’t find another way to tell you about my experience.

agnes obel montreal corona

Agnes Obel and her all-girl band stepped on the then lightly lit stage of Theatre Corona. I started taking pictures as they started playing the melodic Red Virgin Soil which was the perfect introduction to a 90-minute set.

She then addressed the crowd in French with a sympathetic “Bonjour. Je m’appelle Agnes” to then switch back to English, explaining that she was the only one on stage who couldn’t speak French, the reason why her bandmates would make fun of her. Though she did impress the crowd more than once with a perfectly pronounced “Montréal”.

agnes obel montreal band

After meticulously replacing her two microphones and her earpiece, she introduced Dorian, a song about being alone, she said.

Throughout the show, I felt like the lighting wasn’t left to chance. It had a crucial importance on the spectator’s experience. Each song was complemented by its own colour block, systematically changing as a new song started. The pattern of the Fresnels forming what looked to me like the stars in the sky.

agnes obel corona theatre

During Run Cried the Crawling, beams of white light made their appearance through the smoke on stage, like rays of light through the clouds.

As people started leaving, Agnes and her cellist/pianist came back on stage, sitting side by side at the piano bench and played a three-hand September Song after confirming with the crowd “We’re in September right?”.

agnes obel corona theater

During the few minutes Riverside lasted, the whole venue felt more intimate as Agnes sang a slowed down version of the song, letting us hear the crackling in her voice, the exact same crackling you’d listen to vinyl for.

Her performance ended on On Powdered Ground, a song she dedicated to every one of us who is afraid of the future, counting herself in.

agnes obel cellist

The show had a good mix of old and new material. Agnes Obel has that quality of always making new material that is diverse enough from one song to another but also stays true to herself.

I feel like the crowd really appreciated Agnes and her band’s performance, as they were slow dancing, moving from a foot to the other throughout the whole thing. One thing is sure, I really enjoyed it, as a spectator as well as a photographer.

I am now left with the after show melancholy, listening to her albums on Spotify, trying to remember every little nuance the live performance had to offer.

agnes obel corona theatre 2018

Setlist
Red Virgin Soil
Dorian
It’s Happening
Trojan Horse
Familiar
Falling, Catching
Philharmonics
Fuel to Fire
Run Cried The Crawling
The Curse
Words Are Dead
Stretch Your Eyes
———
September Song
Riverside
On Powdered Ground

Review & photos – Arianne Bergeron

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