Le Vent du Nord celebrates its 20th anniversary in style

On the heels of his excellent album 20 spring, launched at the beginning of the year, Le Vent du Nord can finally celebrate its 20th anniversary on stage with a show directed by none other than Dominic Champagne. Back on a celebration that promises to be festive, presented until April 2023 throughout Quebec, but also in the United States, England and France.

“We really felt that we needed to meet, it did a lot of good, we left there completely washed out,” says Nicolas Boulerice, joined with his fellow co-founders Olivier Demers and Simon Beaudry, a few days later. the launch of the tour, May 27 in Montreal.

“It’s all the more trippy that when we play in Quebec, the public feels what we sing,” continues the elder and pianist. The show 20 spring will allow us to carry these songs as we have rarely been able to do. »

Simon Beaudry agrees: “We rarely experience that, because it’s different for us to play at home, recognizes the guitarist. Internationally, we have a great audience, but they are mostly English speakers, so we are particularly touched to play here. And we worked on this show longer. »

Improved staging

Indeed, Le Vent du Nord has retained for the tour 20 spring the services of director and documentary filmmaker Dominic Champagne, notably creator of Zumanity, Varekai and Love – The Beatles, great successes of Cirque du Soleil. The environmentalist and theater man himself launched the festivities for the launch show, at the Théâtre Plaza.

“We raised the bar for the total quality of the show, in terms of the subject, in the way the songs are presented, in the scenographic aspect,” explains Olivier Demers.

“It’s also the first time we’ve had a set, with these huge flowers of light reminiscent of the centaury on our album cover, as well as this smoky moon invented by Dominic”, hastens to add Boulerice referring to the lighting devices that frame the five musicians — the brothers Réjean and André Brunet complete the group.

“Compared to our presence on stage, Dominic also brought us elsewhere, continues the main composer of the group. And I think he has tripped, too ! For example, he told us that as it had been 10 years since he had become more of an activist than an artist, he sometimes found it difficult to bear.

“But he admitted to us that when he listened to us, it made him want to dance and smile, that it did him a world of good. »

In Quebec, we have the freedom to go where we want, whereas elsewhere, it is sometimes a little fixed. And a fixed tradition belongs to museums”, underlines Olivier.

The careful staging of Champagne superbly highlights the musical energy of Le Vent du Nord. In particular, we must see the spectacular and almost electric intro of Boulerice’s hurdy-gurdy in the song Mariannewhich then gets carried away on a heavy and intoxicating rhythm supported by the podorythmic duet of André Brunet and Olivier Demers.

“When André and Oli start hitting, it’s crazy percussion! The power is very telluric, it’s wild and raw, it’s remarkable how much people are challenged by this specificity of Quebec trad music,” says Nicolas.

The will of the group is still and always to keep alive the Quebec tradition. “We have a form of duty to remember,” says Nicolas Boulerice. When we say we carry trad, if we ignore it, we will become like any other group.

“We must therefore keep this link, show that we are capable of talking about the First Nations, the blood of our land, of the country. This is our pretext to go further, we want to continue to ensure the link between memory and the need to remain creative in 2022. ”

June 24 in Bécancour for the national holiday. June 25 at Omega Park.

New album in February 2023

Made last February, The voices of the wind will be an unpublished collection of songs from the 11 albums of Le Vent du Nord, recorded only with the voices of the five members of the group, accompanied by a piano and a string quartet.

“So we revisit the Vent du Nord repertoire like an a capella band, it takes us completely elsewhere,” says Nicolas Boulerice. It’s a souvenir record of the 20 years of the group, without being a compilation, there is a very creative aspect in the process. »

A classical musician by training, Olivier Demers took charge of the arrangements: “It’s like rediscovering my childhood loves,” he says. It’s a pleasure to revisit these songs with a new light. »

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