Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

11 novembre 2008

Genius of Lanois shines

Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen, Saturday, October 25, 2008

CREDIT: Christopher Pike, The Ottawa Citizen

Daniel Lanois performs at the Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa on Friday October 24, 2008.

At one point during an exquisite concert at Centrepointe Theatre last night, legendary producer Daniel Lanois warned the audience that he and the band would be venturing into unknown territory. "This is the improvised part of the set," said the soft-spoken 57-year-old.

Normally, an artist risks alienating his audience with that sort of advisory. But in the case of Lanois, a guy who's worked with Bob Dylan, U2, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel and Robbie Robertson, to name a few, ears perked up so as not to miss a note of what might happen, an opportunity to gain insight into the workings of a musical genius, who's also known to be a demanding perfectionist.

Dressed in a black-leather motorcycle jacket and sporting a hat and bushy beard, Lanois appeared at ease, exuding a cool and quiet confidence. The stage was bare, except for the band's gear, but the tasteful lighting and live video contributed to the evening's sense of adventure. A videographer, working on stage, captured the entire show, the footage screened in gritty black-and-white behind them. It felt like we were watching an old newsreel of an historic battle.

Leaning over to check in with his compadres, guitarist Jim Wilson and bassist Marcus Blake, Lanois was clearly the commander-in-chief. But one glance at Steven Nistor and the fuzzy-haired drummer took off into a crisp and jazzy beat. Lanois dug in, and the others were quick to join, their musical telepathy evident as they wove a masterpiece of bluesy atmospherics.

Afterward, Lanois spoke of the "duality" of his career, referring to the dichotomy between his singer-songwriter fare and studio innovation.

Last night's improv was a demonstration of the experimental end of his musical spectrum, an approach that relies on the spirit of the moment and the interaction between the people at hand. In a soft-seat theatre with perfect sound, talented players and a near-capacity audience listening attentively, the results were magical.

There were several instances of anything-goes noodling during last night's concert, but also plenty of familiar material.

He opened with a soulful The Maker, bending the notes of his electric guitar to create the languid mood, displaying even more dexterity in the next song, the fluid The Messenger.

The melodic arc soared through an instrumental composition, coming to rest on Sometimes, from Lanois' album Shine. "This one comes from a place of solitude," Lanois said.

Then he performed solo, on electric guitar, for a string of story-songs from Acadie, his 1989 debut disc, inspired by his French-Canadian roots. Lanois, of course, was born in Hull, and still has relatives in the area. With a dedication to "les cousines" in the audience, Lanois sang heartfelt versions of Jolie Louise, Marie Claire and Under a Stormy Sky, his bittersweet voice making everyone feel they were part of la famille.

The musical adventures continued for almost two hours, and Lanois told funny, engaging stories between songs. Without a doubt, it was one of the best concerts of the year.

Aucun commentaire: