The wave Watson wins everything

CRITICAL / One could write that it was won in advance: the love rating of Patrick Watson is so strong in Quebec. In fact, the almost sold-out tour took Wednesday night to take off in front of a packed Granada Theater.
But no, you still had to make the transition to the Wave scene, his latest opus, more text-based, with the music in the background. If the artist had stuck to the record too much, the regulars might have found their favorite singer too quiet.

It is bad to know Sieur Watson, who has quickly given back his rights to music in this performance with a lot of trunk, with seven musicians and singers and an elaborate staging, in a clever balance of wadding and watts.

From the second song (Wave, title track of the album), it was in the pocket. Probably because this beach contains to a large extent the emotional charge of the disc, this huge wave that has swept over the life of the singer in recent years (breakup love, death of his mother, departure of a close musician).

In a turquoise light, with her touching voice when she comes up, Patrick Watson has sung this resignation to simply be carried away by events when one simply has no hold on them. The crescendo was so powerful and so evocative, it was almost impossible not to have a lump in the throat.

There will be one or two more of those heartbeats, in Look at You, Places You Will Go and Broken especially (how to stay ice when Patrick is so beautifully crying the broken o?).


Just like the Love Songs for Robots tour, the musician played Wave’s songs almost in full order, interspersing some old plays all over the place, keeping his best known for the end and the reminder, which turned out a little longer than expected.

It is also at this moment that one could taste all the proximity of the artist, who allowed himself to derogate from the established program, if we trust the winks addressed to the technical team, offering some solo experiments for this tour that begins.

The audience has embarked on these small improvisations that may end up in the performance.

As for the staging (including lighting, which have always played an important role in his shows), Watson has put the package, including lights installed in triangular prisms pivoting on a tripod, recalling flashing lights, and an installation similar in the background, but this time suspended and much larger, with a huge transparent face reminiscent of the human head on the cover of Wave.


Let’s highlight the very beautiful feminine presence, in the respect of the harmonies of the disc, the choristers Ariel Engle and Erika Angell, and, surprise !, Karine Pion of Galaxie and Belle and Bum, who, in addition to contributing to the voices, is busy drumming and scratching the guitar a bit. The more muted moments, for example in Black Melody, while the amplification was pausing and the singer was left alone with Ariel and his guitarist around the microphone, were simply magical.

There was even horn in the abundance of arrangements imagined by the host of the evening, with a nice place to the keyboards of the 1980s.

While artists tend to leave the songs from their previous opus, Watson still has a place for three Love Songs for Robots songs, including Grace, Hearts and Places You Will Go, even though he said recently that this album was less well understood by the audience. Desire to give them a new chance. In any case, they fit perfectly into the world of fortissimos and pianissimos that was delivered Wednesday night.

The icing on the cake is this French broken English, these crazy translations and this slightly crazy laugh that make Patrick Watson a too endearing person.

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