Bran Van 3000’s career overview


We don’t know, but even though only a few hundred fans of the Montreal collective can claim to have seen these moments that now belong to history, there was a strong scent of nostalgia that pervaded the Jazz Festival venue at the start of la evening.

Of course, BV3 hasn’t disappeared in the past 25 years. Away from there. Other albums have been released, other tours have taken place. We also saw James Di Salvio’s tape at FIJM in the 2000s as well as at the Osheaga festival in 2010. But no one will doubt that the album with the cover decorated with a deer and a rabbit is their musical centerpiece.

Gary McKenzie plays the electric keyboard on stage.

Bran Van 3000 set the Place des Festivals on fire for 90 minutes.

Photo: Spectra / Victor Diaz Lamich

The time machine went into operation at 9:30 pm with a sound and visual aperitif that seemed out of time, just before the artists arrived. Inborn reflex of the cultural journalist: When they get on stage, you start counting the number of musicians accompanying the headliner or chaperones of a particular group. More difficult said than said, with Bran Van 3000.

About 25 creators participated in the creation of Joy, a quarter of a century ago. If I remember correctly, there were almost as many – if not more – on the Spectrum stage a few months later. On Friday I counted 12 or 13 from the start, but more have been added. Simplify: not far from twenty voices and instrumentalists paraded on the scoreboards.

To party

And they wanted to celebrate, like the public, after all. Loadedtaken from Discosi (2001) hit hard from the start with Sara Johnston at the forefront. The recurrence of the word party in the text and that of the six-letter “f” that incites alcoholic debauchery – or not – were unequivocal.

The sequence with Just like mefrom Joy, clad in graceful brass, where Johnston and James Di Salvio shared the vocals, it was a bit wobbly, as if the collective had not yet regained all its cohesion. The group hasn’t exactly multiplied their concerts since the mid-2010s. Only one, last May. That said, we felt the shared pleasure of the members and the desire to get high.

Stéphane Moraille came to take the rabbit hole seriously with an explosive interpretation of Aphrodisiac who set the dust on fire, like Aretha Franklin at her best.

Steve ” Liquid Hawley then went on to include hip-hop on the menu with a tirade setting the table Rain, this time shared with James and Jayne Hill, who is now blonde. The magic worked perfectly. All this first half hour will be used to (re) present the pillars of BV3 one by one to the public.

And also one that wasn’t there at the beginning of the adventure.

James Di Salvio and Sara Johnston chat face to face.

James Di Salvio and Sara Johnston

Photo: Spectra / Victor Diaz Lamich

The interpretation of Go shopping brought to the fore Kwanza Shelley, who joined BV3 Rose (2007). I had completely forgotten the singer with features reminiscent of Sade and the look of Alicia Keys. Of course I missed the 2008 concert at Wilfrid-Pelletier, but not the 2011 concert at Osheaga. Memory sometimes plays tricks …

The crowd roared from the first notes ofAmazed – the bomb that opens Discosi – built on the legendary Move on by Curtis Mayfield. A round and powerful trombone solo, some balloons and the vocal competition of Sara, Jayne, Stéphane and Kwanza blew downtown Montreal like an irresistible wave that would have swept everyone over.

After 40 minutes of such a diet, it was fashionable to catch my breath. Sara Johnston took care of it with the ballad rock star supported by an acoustic guitar and a string trio. Absolutely amazing.

Sara stayed at the station for Call me (I’ll be around Medley) – a sort of reinterpretation of the Spinners classic – which twice was interspersed with the hip-hop tirades of Di Salvio and Liquid. Perhaps the most compelling example of the gender mergers that are on the agenda at BV3.

A large stage with two big screens showing Sara Johnston playing the guitar.

The Place des Festivals was packed for Bran Van’s 3000th anniversary concert.

Photo: Spectra / Victor Diaz Lamich

The friend James, with his Biggie t-shirt, visibly happy with the welcome, recalled some of the roots of BV3 by handing over a short, but biting excerpt from Fight for your right (to the party!)the hymn to the feast of Bestial guys. standing And old school followed up with mutual participation. We reviewed the BV3 with variable geometry based on the needs of the moment.

Self Adorn led to a spectacular sonic slap, of course Drinking in Los Angeles that was the highlight of the evening. At least, this is the song everyone wanted to hear. With slightly faded images of the THE of yesteryear, parading on the screens, Stéphane Moraille and his colleagues put them all in their pockets. The hit even became a song to respond to with thousands of viewers singing THE! THE! at the request of Giacomo. Beautiful moment of unity.

Moraille continued with Yes nowoffered here as a thank you to festival attendees and stepdaughterwith Shelley as a soloist, she completed the 90 minutes with pyrotechnic effects.

Then no Surfer on the couch? Serious? No A song, perhaps the most jazzy piece in the BV3 repertoire? At the Montreal International Jazz Festival it would be a good idea, right? No forest? Yes, I know, Jean Leloup was probably not available, but what was going to stop him from using his vocal soundtrack on stage? It would have been a damn nice tribute to the one James Di Salvio believes to be the trigger for the birth of his group.

Let’s face it, this is not about sulking for our pleasure or throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And it goes without saying that the right to manage the repertoire belongs to the artists. This performance of BV3, as a whole, was enough to satisfy the purists of the group or those who saw it for the first time on stage.

But due to the official name of the FIJM program (Bran Van 3000: Celebrating the 25th anniversary: ​​The deer and the bunny), let’s say that I expected a lot more from a concert to focus on Joy that a kif-kif sharing between the latter and Discosialong with a career overview.

No problem. The flyby in question was by no means exemplary. As for Joywell, you probably had to be in Les Foufs or the Spectrum 25 years ago to savor it in its entirety …


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