Concert Review: L’Imperiatrice, April 10, The Opera House

I’m getting the impression – though my sample size is admittedly still small – that bands from France want you to dance. I saw Daft Punk nearly 15 years ago, Polo & Pan back in December and now L’Imperatrice this past Sunday; and together, they have convinced me that the French are going to bring the grooves and a visual show just as fun as their music!

The 6 piece French-pop, nu-disco centric band are currently touring their second studio album Tako Tsubo and their live performance was a thing to behold. The music and the visual aspects of the show were in sync right from the start, with all the members of the band standing in the dark, lined up at the front of the stage with beating hearts on their chests. The hearts glowed red at first and then started to pulse, faster and faster before the band took to their places and kicked off the show with ‘Off to the Side’. Some bands can struggle to match the quality of their recorded music and others can sound almost identical to it – but it’s been the rare occasion that I’ve gone to see a show and what you witness elevates and evolves the music to another level. And that’s what L’Imperatrice did on Sunday; with lead singer Flore Benguigui asking early on if everyone was ready to dance – before turning some of their slower songs like ‘La Lune’ and ‘Erreur 404′ into absolute jams!

It was easy to be sucked into their playful and energetic vibes, with all the fun everyone on stage seemed to be having. Some super funky baselines backing the songs, various members of the band playing different instruments throughout the show, guitarists rocking out back to back and Flore making her way around the stage to sing and play next to everyone added to the exceptional show they were putting on. There was even a triangle solo at one point!

Their commanding presence on stage meant all eyes were on them for nearly two hours, so the splashing light off the twirling disco ball as guitarist Charles de Boisseguin hit the higher notes on a song, or dimming the lights so that the glowing hearts could be highlighted before they broke into another upswing really added to the experience.

Singing almost entirely in French, this was L’Imperatice’s first time performing in Toronto and if the crowd’s reaction at the end of their encore, where they performed two of their biggest hits ‘Vanille Fraise’ and ‘Agitations Tropicales’ was any indication, they’re going to need to keep us in the rotation the next time they set off on tour.
- Kyle Cadogan

Posted on by guestwriter in Concerts

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