Review and photos – Coeur de Pirate at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, March 2 2019
– review by Julie Rankin, photos by Kirk Chantraine
An enthusiastic audience erupted into cheers as the voice of Coeur de pirate, aka Beatrice Martin, filled the Commodore Ballroom. Entering from stage left, the Montreal singer joined her band under a soft blue light. They began the show with “Combustible,” her latest single.
Martin expressed her amazement at the almost sold-out Commodore Ballroom. She noted that the venue was only half full for her previous Vancouver show, in 2016.
More than ten years have passed since the release of the 2008 Coeur de pirate debut album. The francophone singer-songwriter and pianist has since sold over one million albums worldwide. In 2018, she released her fourth studio album, en cas de tempête ce jardin sera fermé (trans.: in case of storm, this garden will be closed).
With personal and romantic lyrics sung mostly in French, the songs’ meanings may have been missed by English-speaking members of the audience. While still enjoyable, the underlying emotions did not always translate through the performance–but may provide a compelling reason to learn French.
Reflections on one-night stands and aging
Though she appeared serious while singing, Martin intersperses witty banter and jokes between songs. She shared notes about one-night stands while introducing “Amour d’un soir” (“One Night’s Love”). Reflecting on her ten years as Coeur de pirate she said, “I know I look much younger.” A fan’s shout of “Je t’aime!” brought a smile to her face and cheers from the audience.
Mid-set, Martin’s five-piece backing band took a break, leaving the boss to perform solo on piano. The encore included another song from en cas de tempête ce jardin sera fermé, “Premonition.”
Fellow Montrealer Hanorah opened the show with just a guitar. The intimacy of her performance may not have penetrated to the back of the room, where people continued to chatter. But those at the front were treated to a soulful performance from a talented singer whose voice needed little accompaniment. An EP is expected later this month.
More Coeur de pirate at the Commodore Ballroom photos: