The LOUVE Project Closes Les FrancoFolies de Montréal Festival

Imagine 16 musicians each performing their own unique compositions until at the very end, everyone comes together to sing the last song in a beautiful mesh of sound. Les FrancoFolies de Montréal festival transformed that imagination into a reality.

Les FrancoFolies ended their 29th edition with the LOUVE Project at the Bell Stage in the Quartier des Spectacles. The project consisted of the gathering of 16 Montreal-based women musicians performing onstage, exposing the audience to a variety of musical genres including pop, rock and techno under the musical direction of Ariane Moffatt.

As part of the official program for Montreal’s 375th anniversary, each of these musicians performed a one hour set, giving the audience a taste of their own musical compositions.

Before the LOUVE project took to the stage, local musician Philippe Brach played his own hour long set at the Ford stage on Ste. Catherine St. Since being discovered by the Radio-Canada team in 2015, Brach stirred up a pot of engaging melodies including some slow ballads, energetic rhythms and a touch of random yelling in his pieces.

The piece that the audience was most engaged with was called “Bonne journée.” Brach sang while clapping along continuously.

This piece got everyone in the crowd to sing an entire song by heart without any musical instruments to help back up the melody, clapping along to the beat that Brach created.

Brach ended his set with a soft continuous ballad called “Crystel,” a song about being in an unhealthy relationship.The melody for this song included a slow shuffling drum beat, lightly incorporating the snare drum and the tomtom accompanied by the mellow strum from an acoustic guitar.

After his performance ended, the LOUVE project invaded the Bell stage. Among these musicians were Ariane Moffatt, Marie-Pierre Arthur and Salomé Leclerc. One by one, they all emerged onto the stage and began their set with a song called “Les filles,” which began with a soft piano melody on the synthesizer.

As the song progressed, the background vocalists gradually increased their volume until the electric guitar created a loud distortion appearance, followed by the repetitive beat coming from the snare drum and Amylie Boisclair’s soft voice.

The song that gave a great punchy rock feeling to this whole collaborative performance was “Motel 1755” by The Hay Babies. The dynamic fast-paced drum beat paired with the loud repetitive chord progressions from two electric guitars and one acoustic guitar made for a fun and aggressive tune, which ultimately blew the audience away.

The Hay Babies really engaged themselves in this piece, having each band mate show off their rock and roll capabilities by having their guitar tones elevated to the maximum. Each chord that was strummed delivered an electric vibe to the audience, energizing them for the upcoming performance.

The final song of the performance for LOUVE was “Tout arrive” by Les Soeurs Boulay, made up of the sisters Stéphanie and Mélanie Boulay. This tune captured the essence of the formation since each of the 16 musicians collaborated in this final song, delivering the message to celebrate the greatness of music. Each musical note created a relationship between the artist and the crowd.

This song was a great way to end the show since its quiet ballad allowed the audience to hear the background vocals and the guitars without any electric instruments to overlap the soft sounds. Limiting the song to just two acoustic guitars and background vocals kept the piece simple, ending the show with a light touch.

Ending the performance with this group of musicians captured the whole idea of the performance since it was specifically designed to celebrate the 375th anniversary of Montreal and also the 29th anniversary of Les FrancoFolies de Montréal. This powerful collaborative show not only created a special moment in the history of Les FrancoFolies, but for the city as well in terms of music.

The 29th edition of Les FrancoFolies de Montréal ended on a beautiful melodic note thanks in large part to the performances in the LOUVE Project. No doubt that the organizing team must have already begun their preparations for next year’s edition of this musically charged festival.

LOUVE Project // Philippe Brach // Les FrancoFolies de Montréal // francofolies.com

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