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Antoine Gratton at Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg

Antoine Gratton

Antoine Gratton. Yvan Tremblay photo.

Review – Antoine Gratton at Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg, Feb 18, 2010

– by Eugene Osudar

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,
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


last year,
it seemed most every day/night was
minus 30
and hot and steamy inside

this year,
it’s so much
on the outside
at the towering
ice sculptures
risk of having my
nose fall off
my eyes ache.
ouch factor
this year.

minus ten,
Oui, oui, weeeeeeeeeeee!

i took a chance.
Thursday night.
i could have stayed home,
but i went here,


and once there,
Carole a gogo
Ah! Que
piqued my dancing
oh, sweet heart/feet

Antoine Gratton.

he’s won a Juno.
that could mean
no,thing. somehow,
i was expecting a solo
show, with tape

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
and it was full/on,

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
and zany t-shirt
he began to play

and that’s what he did
he played
like a kid
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
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
Cinq cent mille miles
Le Monde
ah! que
Mon Grand cheval noir
A l’aide
carole a gogo
that’s alright mama

(very rare
for a tightly scheduled


at his best
it’s rollicking
Paul McCartney
and the rock n boogie
of John Lennon,
now that’s very

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

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
tongue/licking lips.
8th song is hotter
and the 9th
is a dance funk symphony!
and when That’s Alright Mama
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

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!

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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