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Vincent Vallieres 2021

Vincent Vallières, Mats Naslund, my girlfriend and me

Review of the Vincent Vallières concert at the Cinquième salle of Place-des-Arts, in Montreal, on December 9, 2021.


Heille Vallieres,you made me cry tonight. You had me talking about your girlfriend who believed in you while you were experiencing failures. Your voice cracked slightly, we felt it. You got me talking about your guy, playing on the rink, like you used to, in the dark of winter. You got me talking about wrinkled faces full of stories that my girlfriend and I, her boyfriend, will have in a few years, we who owe nothing to anyone. You had me when you made my life scroll before my eyes, when you went back to our ancestors. You got me because I am like you.


You made me laugh, too, Vallières! I know your friends who love quality wine, your neighbors on the other side of the cedar hedge. Me neither, I wouldn't forget my case' of Mats Naslund for anything in the world if I had one, neither the image of my grandmother, nor my grandfather's sweat. I now live right next to the factory where he worked all his life. The times have changed. The condos have replaced the factory. I appreciate the quality (!) of life we have today.


You also brought me back to earth, Vallières. It is true that each white sheet can become an immense landscape, be it a drawing or a story, or anything you can do with your hands and your imagination. Everything is possible. It is true that we too often forget that each day that begins is in itself a new chance. I have relatives who no longer live from it, new days. We don't realize that every morning when we go to work.


My girlfriend is not from here, Vallières. But you portrayed our gang, our childhood, our grandparents, our history so well that it grabbed us. She saw your Grandmother raising her seven children at the edge of the pit, in Asbestos. She understood what we are made of, whether we come from the mill, the mine, or the din of the factory. We have modest speech, it's true, but that doesn't stop us to invent wonders. Not for nothing did she choose to make her life here.


I know this girl whose the glow flickers, which is afraid of all the din inside. I worked with. I saw her withdraw from her job for months. I saw him isolate himself, get lost, then slowly find himself again. I saw her get up, far from the city center, less fragile. Standing tall and proud, one more scar to the soul. The rest of the world didn't flinch and kept spinning.


No, all beauty is not lost. It is in the moments that you observe, that you capture and that you tell us in song or in words on your social networks.


Enweille Vallières, returns to guit' pis your penciland kid me another song. Take Richard Séguin's 12-string which still contains plenty of beautiful ones. Talk to me trees and streams. Tell mebeer crates deliverers, and the Expos. Where do we come from and where do we go.


Heille Vallières, thank you for your show tonight, at the Cinquième salle of Place-des-Arts. Seriously, it was super good! I can't wait we dance like idiots, lost in the beat and in the noise, instead of being masked and seated. It will come. It will, it will. My girlfriend and I had a great evening. We held hands, we looked at each other. Listening to you sing and tell your stories was like spending the evening with a (quality!) boyfriend that we have always known and loved. Thank you and see you soon! 

(text originally published on QUB musique, December 10, 2021)

This text was originally written in French with loads of references to Vincent Vallières' songs, which aren't as obvious in English.

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