I Love the Festival Du Voyageur. where else can you dance on wood chips? in a heated tent? in Winnipeg, in February? while catching some of the hottest bands from Quebec, like Le Vent du Nord. some people drink Caribou, some sort of alcohol-laced Love Potion #69969 (try it and you'll fall help!/hopelessly in good, Love) i drink water H deux Oh! it's because i dance and dance and d a n c e. last year, it seemed most every day/night was minus 30 outside and hot and steamy inside this year, it's so much warmer on the outside looking at the towering ice sculptures without risk of having my nose fall off or my eyes ache. Non ouch factor this year. minus ten, Lovely! Oui, oui, weeeeeeeeeeee! i took a chance. Thursday night. i could have stayed home, but i went here, www.myspace.com/antoinegratton and once there, Carole a gogo and Ah! Que piqued my dancing soul's sensibilities oh, sweet heart/feet teases! Antoine Gratton. he's won a Juno. that could mean something or no,thing. somehow, i was expecting a solo show, with tape playback. here's what happened, the tent was full 18-24 year old students mostly. at 8:33, heavily bearded bassist Louis Lalancette and drummer Vincent Carre began to play a hot funk(y) soulfully danceable rhythmmmmmmmmm and it was full/on, hip/feet,moving,music! now, usually, i'd be all over this. but i sensed some(magic)thing was going to happen with these kids and i decided to write and watch, to journal Antoine Gratton bounced over to his keys, with a starry right eye (make-up) and zany t-shirt he began to play and that's what he did he played like a kid just being stupid that's a very good thing rock n roll is all about just being stupid being a kid and having fun Little Richard played with make-up and glitter so did David Bowie and Elton John his crazy/fun antics remind me of all of the above and, Jerry Lee Lewis, at one point he moved far from his keys and then ran back and long,jumped back onto his stool and as his fingers hammered the keys the band EXplodeD! back into the song. that's Jerry Lee. he didn't play keys with his feet or ass, though i'm sure he could have and has. he just plays. like a kid at heart being stupid, and he has so much fun that he gets the audience involved. he's contagious. acting stupid. Kurt Cobain! 59 minutes. Les Yeux Malalavie Cinq cent mille miles Le Monde ah! que Mon Grand cheval noir A l'aide Dixie carole a gogo that's alright mama encore (very rare for a tightly scheduled Festival!), Si'j'avais at his best it's rollicking Paul McCartney and the rock n boogie of John Lennon, now that's very very good. during the second song, Antoine is up and leading the audience in a clap along. next song, i could have done without. the 4th, it's great Paul McCartney, rollicking, he jumps onto the dance floor and gets people singing and clapping along. he acts like he's "King Cool" (you know, Mick Jagger ego) and i write, maybe he is! he takes an acoustic guitar and with Vincent on spoons they jump on the tables and play! only the kids are a little too excited and begin to clap along so that the song can't be heard. so he asks them to settle down and the kids do and he and Vincent run around the tables and play! it's a blast! 6th song, is John Lennon rock N boogie machine. this is the long,jumping song! 7th song is when the spell takes hold, two young women skip to the dance floor, the MC joins them and then a few more women and then some "wise" guys a few more women (these are very beautiful young women) and it's On. scores and scores more and then i'm there! and we're bopping and jumping and grinding and clapping it's a deep dark sexy boogie, sensual hips and tongue/licking lips. 8th song is hotter and the 9th is a dance funk symphony! and when That's Alright Mama plays it's as if Elvis is re/born in French! at The Festival! it's Only the hottest live version of That's Alright Mama i have Ever heard. Antoine jumps up and leads the audience in dance and clapping and singing and it's over in an hour after one of those rare Festival encores! and, he's making his way West. 9/11 so/hot dance songs. don't miss him. he has two more sets at The Festival! if you like Elton John Paul McCartney John Lennon David Bowie Little Richard Jerry Lee Lewis, oh! and Elvis Presley! That's Alright Mama! Antoine Gratton. Festival du Voyageur February 18, 19 and 20!
Feature:Dandy Warhols at the Commodore Ballroom
Dec. 6 2016. Jason Martin photos.