Live in Concert - Coeur de Pirate
November 11, 2011—The Mod Club (Toronto, ON)
For the past month, I have been playing Coeur de Pirate songs on repeat in the car, at home, at work, in the shower—basically everywhere I went. Surprisingly, perhaps only to me, I had only discovered her less than a month ago through a tiny Facebook ad that promoted her Toronto concert. I was intrigued by the French name and the picture of a blonde girl, but had no idea what to expect. Immediately, though, after watching her performance of “Comme des Enfants” on CBC’s QTV from 2009, I fell in love with her voice and her work.
Four days after her second album dropped to rave reviews, the 22-year-old Béatrice Martin played a sold-out show at The Mod Club in Toronto. In addition to taking place on the rare palindrome day of 11/11/11, the show was particularly special because it was also the CD release party for Blonde and in her new hometown with her close friends present (and a surprise or two). Béatrice played an incredible show with her four-piece band and didn’t miss a beat. In her black dress, which revealed parts of her partially-tattooed midriff, and high heels (she says she dressed up for this show, and that she’s never wearing heels again because they hurt her feet so badly), Béatrice appeared to be on Cloud 9 and at times shocked at the audience turnout.
Coeur de Pirate played both new songs and “classics”, as she put it, from her self-titled debut album. She entered the stage with the intro song “Lève les voiles” and began her set with an upbeat “Adieu”, the first single from Blonde. “Ensemble”, the song that could be deemed responsible for launching her career, was the first oldie performed. She sang almost every song out of the 24 songs in her discography thus far. Some highlights:
- The (not-so-)surprise guest appearance of Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash. Jay and Béatrice were a couple for a period of time and also have a project together called Armistice. Early in the show, he and Béatrice sang “Brutal Hearts”, a Bedouin song featuring Coeur de Pirate. He later returned to perform “Mission Bells” (an Armistice song) with her.
- “C’était salement romantique”—one of my favourite songs from the first album, especially because of the piano + violin instrumental, which was just as, if not more, brilliant live;
- “Place de la république”—My (and a lot of people’s) favourite Coeur de Pirate song, was performed with Emmanuel Éthier playing the violin ever so gracefully. Words cannot describe the beauty of this song;
- “Françis”—Earlier in the day, Béatrice revealed Françis’ identity by posting a photo of him on Instagram. Before getting into the song, she told the crowd that he was indeed at the show and that the crowd should sing along if they knew the lyrics because he would like that. Best part: the girl in front of me, who was crazy into the entire show, asked if Françis is a dog;
- The transition from “Cap Diamant” into The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games” while she was solo on stage. I was just introduced to her cover that day, so it was a nice surprise; and
- “Comme des enfants”—Of course, this was the song with which she ended her set. The entire crowd sang along during the chorus and brought Béatrice to tears.
The room was entirely packed, and you could tell majority of the crowd were not Francophones but people who enjoys Coeur de Pirate’s music, whether or not they understand the lyrics. I was a little sad I didn’t have my DSLR with me, but I was glad that restriction forced me to focus even harder on Béatrice and the music. Unfortunately, it was really annoying being able to hear and feel the bass coming from Crawford, the bar next door (at least I assume it was from Crawford), especially during the quieter songs.
I really wish I could go on describing the whole show, song by song, and type out every detail my brain still holds in memory. Every song had me clutching my chest in awe. The show was perfect, and I couldn’t ask for a better first French concert. If Coeur de Pirate is coming to your town, I highly recommend you secure yourself a ticket a.s.a.p. because you will most certainly regret it if you don’t.
Coeur de Pirate was also featured in my first New Music Monday blog series.