Old Sock Drawer

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#100: Les Cowboys Fringants @ Place de la Francophonie

February 25th, 2010 by Mary Leong

First things first, HAPPY 100TH POST, OLD SOCK DRAWER! Secondly, hello to all readers from Victoria, where I have been traipsing around for the past three days.

Cowboys Fringants

So, my week definitely got off to an amazing start as a result of Sunday’s Cowboys Fringants concert. The last time they were in town, I missed their show as I was in Ottawa, so this is two years’ worth of bottled-up excitement spilling over in one glorious spectacle of néo-trad folk rock. Having rallied my non-Francophone (and thus substantially less hysterical) friends along in this grand adventure, I couldn’t wait for the show to begin. After a lacklustre opening band and a long set change, the audience anticipation had built up to epic proportions, further fuelled by a silver medal win in women’s speedskating. These expectations were more than met by the brilliant show that followed, comprising a sublime series of tunes that everyone knew and sang along to, witty repartee, and theatrics galore. Most notably, violinist/fiddler Marie-Annick Lépine was simply amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone play violin with that kind of passion and energy- and yes, that includes surpassing Joshua Bell’s live concert with the VSO. The musical merits of this band aside, their song lyrics are incredibly pertinent social commentaries on government, environmental degradation, homelessness, and culture, to name a few. A Québécois friend of mine once said, and I quote verbatim, “Their songs show every part of how Québec people live.” My music school friend present at the concert may have mentioned something about the guitar being slightly sharp (or flat), but that was the furthest from the minds of the audience, which was content – no, happy – to be part of this crowd, singing and chanting along to lyrics that truly reflect ideals dear to their daily lives.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sebastien Dion Mar 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    You’re right when you say their song lyrics mean a lot: Songs talk about environment (water), poverty (not only about homeless people, but also about how hard it is for a single woman to live with her children) and asking questions about government social responsibilities. And everything just sounds…great and truth.

  • 2 Sebastien Dion Mar 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Btw, I’m wondering why we didn’t speak more in French when you went in Quebec city, haha.