Concert Review: Sébastien Tellier – April 9, Mod Club, Toronto

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Who knew that I’d strike upon the cure for alcoholism at a Sébastien Tellier concert? Well Al-Anon, your 12-step program has arrived in the form of the “French Electro Barry White” that is, if Barry White decided that Chardonnay was his performance lifesource and his blood-alcohol levels were at twice the lethal limit of 0.45. AA members need only attend 12 drunken Tellier concerts in place of the 12 step program to sober up for life.

You may say, who am I to judge? She who has woken up in ditches, found herself the next morning locked out of her house, fallen in bushes, thrown out of various establishments, and ended up being a general embarrassment to anyone she has ever known? It’s no secret that I like to hit the sauce–some call me the Asian Patsy Stone and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone sloppier than me…but that someone just might be Mr. “French Touch” himself, only not many folks in the audience would’ve wanted to be touched by this guy. This was one of the chattiest shows I’ve ever been to with a distracted audience who had no qualms about speaking loudly over this sorry display.

I was naively optimistic for this one…although there are numerous reports floating around out there about his drunken stage presence I was expecting something more along the lines of a suave version of the Burger King Mascot instead of the slipshoddy, phoned-in performance we witnessed last night. Ricky was so unimpressed he felt burned he missed LOST (a subpar network show in my books). Now that is saying something.

This is all quite a shame seeing as the Daft Punk-produced Sexuality has a helluva lot to offer. Roche, Kilometer, and Look are all slick and sultry sounding in studio recording. Live they were more farcical than lusty and there’s no question why…This guy would probably down a Big Gulp of Sauvignon Blanc and a king pack of Black Death cigarettes in a matter of seconds if you offered it to him during his performance. Tearing through a bottle and a half of white wine on stage in a matter of an hour, Tellier was competent enough on the guitar and keyboards considering he was soused–and unlike some reports, his singing was intelligble enough (thought still flat), but is that what passes for “showmanship” these days??? His most meaningful exchange with the audience entailed him chugging the last drops out of a near-empty bottle of wine, although he did divulge into how his mother is “very ugly” and that he had some kind of chicken sausage inheritance back in France. The intelligible became the unintelligible pretty quickly and by the time his band rushed offstage to give Tellier his solo encore (a series of electric guitar strums and soft yowling) we had decided we’d had enough.

I have more affection for the loveable drunk performer than the average bear but even *I* think this guy could benefit from a serious lesson in PACING. Note to Mr. Tellier: Stage presence involves more than dressing up in a white linen suit, sparkly scarf, sunglasses, putting yourself at risk for heatstroke, and drinking yourself stupid. Remember the MUSIC?

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Posted on by Allison in Concerts

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