Alaclair Ensemble // Rich Aucoin, Le Cercle, Quebec City, 8th November 2013

Dancing with total abandon–so much that you rip your dress

Last Friday night, Quebec City was febrile. I could feel it hours before the event, the hype brewing slightly, knowing where I would be that evening.  Our beloved art complex Le Cercle celebrated his sixth year of existence and achievements. The guests, all dressed up in their most dapper clothes, sporting festive smiles, it almost felt like an excuse to start the holiday season early. A splendid party.

The night’s program was full of goodies. Delicious food booths, extensive list of wines, video installations, audio and dance performances, djs and live music. Impossible to take part in everything, I had to make a choice. I opted for white wine and made my way to where the live music was happening.  NO regrets.

This gig is now part of my top 5 of 2013. Probably my lifetime top 5.

Only vaguely familiar with them since they were mentionned on the Polaris list, Alaclair Ensemble‘s set was a pleasant surprise for me. The collectif crafts an intelligent hip hop; comical yet brilliantly witty lyrics, killer beats served with various familiar samples and references to Québécois culture perfomed by skilled MCs. The group showed up on stage wearing colourful party hats singing the Happy Birthday, setting the tone for what was going to be a carnivalesque set. From the more upbeat tracks(Mammifères) to the mellow ones(C.R.È.M.E.) their energy level only seemed to rise, engaging with an excited crowd, brazenly singing screaming along, body surfing, genuinely partying.

None of this  festive atmosphere disappeared when Rich Aucoin took the stage. Like me, if you had only ever appreciated his uplifting electronic tunes through your computer/stereo speakers, you will be delighted by the live experience. Think pretty lights, sketchy old videos of cars and cats, dubbed with curse words and an insanely energic performer. Rich Aucoin is this captivating human being who creates happy supersonic songs, forget-about-all-the-hostility-you’ve-ever-witness-and-dance-with-us songs. And it’s amazing to observe just how the WHOLE crowd gave in to everything he wanted us to be up to, from shouting out loud his lyrics to dance in his rainfall of confettis to playing under the hugest parachute I had ever seen. Fellow AHouseDownTheRoad writer describes Rich as a faith healer you can trust and it pretty much seems it up. I think it’s pretty safe to say, every one who shared the space with him last night would agree. Life is just a better after witnessing this human warmth.

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4 thoughts on “Alaclair Ensemble // Rich Aucoin, Le Cercle, Quebec City, 8th November 2013

  1. I can’t stop thinking about this show, and am pretty much 100% in agreement with everything you have to say! The restorative power of live music, made by people who truly love making it, should never be forgotten. Remember how before we left for the event, we were talking about how sad the state of politics is, on the municipal, provincial, and federal level? When I was dancing to Rich’s music, all of those things just melted away. A beautiful night with a beautiful blend of genres and passions.

    • EXACTLY. This is a major part of what made the night so special, seeing how in these two acts, eveybody on stage seemed to genuinely want to be there and share that very moment. The whole crowd was feeling it, the energy level was unbelievable. Asked beforehand, I wouldn’t have thought Alaclair Ensemble would be one of the best gig I have seen all year. It all has to do with presence. An incredibly human night!! (I’ll fix the dress xo)

  2. Pingback: Bad Dancer/Good Living | À l'allure garçonnière
  3. Pingback: 2013: year in review | À l'allure garçonnière

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