Madeleine Peyroux @ Place Des Arts – 28th June 2019

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It’s hard to believe its 15 years since Madeleine Peyroux’s breakthrough Careless Love record was released.  Various records have arrived since, though never to similar acclaim.  Still, that doesn’t stop her from packing out the plush Theatre Maisonneuve tonight!

It’s the standout track Don’t Wait Too Long from that Careless Love record that kicks off proceedings to great applause, with Madeleine extending the breakdown to introduce her band right off the bat while she strums along on her brand new guitar which still sports the price tag (since, apparently, “Delta Airlines broke my other guitar”).  The guitar is traded for a mandolin on Our Lady Of Pigalle, and the rotation continues throughout much of the set.

La Javanaise is then introduced in unique fashion: “this song was from a movie, in a love scene between a woman and a fish!”  (FYI, The Shape Of Water is the movie in question).  Sung entirely in French and culminating in an accordion solo, it’s easy to tell that she spent a good chunk of her life in Paris.  On My Own has a similar vibe.

Down On Me is a much more rocky proposition, complete with full-on wah wah distortion and guitar solos galore, and she sounds a little more like Zooey Deschanel in these moments.  Whiskey then takes us down a much more Bluesy path.

Madeleine soon gets the stage all to herself, and with just her acoustic guitar, she sounds totally Billie Holiday as she delicately runs through Medley and Don’t Cry Baby.  The crowd gets involved clicking their fingers to provide a backing beat and continue their participation at Madeleine’s beckoning once the band returns for the jazz-infused Honey Party, the crowd this time providing the backing vocals to the chorus.  Her popular cover of Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love gets the biggest cheer of the night so far before Careless Love rounds out the main set, extended to allow each member of the band to lay down a solo in the outro.  First the Wurlitzer, then the guitar, then bass, and finally drums.  Yes, a drum solo at a Madeleine Peyroux show!  I didn’t see that coming either.

After they leave the stage, an incredible number of people leave the room, evidently unaware of the concept of an encore.  Sure enough, Madeleine and band return and she declares “merci, we love you!”  (Getting Some) Fun Out of Life turns Theatre Maisonneuve into a smoky Blues club one more time before all leave the stage for good after around 85 minutes.  A wonderful return for Madeleine Peyroux and my 2019 Jazz Fest experience is off to a great start!

Setlist

  • 1.       Don’t Wait Too Long
  • 2.       Our Lady of Pigalle
  • 3.       La javanaise (Serge Gainsbourg cover)
  • 4.       On My Own
  • 5.       Down on Me
  • 6.       Whiskey
  • 7.       All My Heroes
  • 8.       Anthem (Leonard Cohen cover)
  • 9.       Medley
  • 10.   Don’t Cry Baby (Bessie Smith cover)
  • 11.   Last Night When We Were Young
  • 12.   Honey Party
  • 13.   Dance Me to the End of Love (Leonard Cohen cover)
  • 14.   Careless Love

Encore

  • 15.   (Getting Some) Fun Out of Life

Review – Simon Williams
Photos – Eric Brisson

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