Concert Review: Charlotte Cardin, May 13, Elgin Theatre

Charlotte Cardin (41)

Charlotte Cardin had a busy week in Toronto recently; two days before she performed at the Junos and walked away with four of their awards, she played two nights in front of sold out crowds at the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre. Cardin had last played here back in September 2019 at The Opera House, so to see thousands of fans pack the much larger theatre was a testament to how far she has come in these past few years.

Over the course of the show, Charlotte and her two bandmates would play the entirety of her new album Phoenix with the occasional older essential tracks strewn throughout the setlist. She spoke to the audience early on about how meaningful it was to be able to be touring the album finally – over a year after its release – and how happy she was that we could all hear it live. She said these songs were important to her and to feel the love from everyone as she performed in front of a live audience was something that she had truly been missing.

We got to see several different sides of Cardin throughout the show: rocking out with a guitar through songs like “Daddy,” dancing behind the keys while playing “Main Girl,” or just singing and vibing to the sounds of her drummer and bassist through the cover of Daniel Belanger’s “Fous N’importe Où.” Before she played “Sun Goes Down (Buddy)” a little more than halfway through the performance, the other band members left the stage and she sat on a stool front and center with her acoustic guitar in hand and told us about how it was a song she wrote for a friend in their time of need. Eyes staring off in the distance as she played the heartfelt melody, you could see from the look on her face that she had clearly poured a lot into the song.

When she played “Meaningless” towards the end of the night – the song which she would later go on to win best single of the year for – the back stage lighting, which had been so many different darker hued colours over the course of the night, turned shades of red, orange & yellow, with what looked like a rising sun in the middle of it. Bathed in that light, Charlotte belted out the hit single while the entire audience danced along. It was only fitting to have such strong colours associated with the song, because with an album name like Phoenix, it was a great visual connection to the idea of a majestic bird rising from the ashes.

For an artist who started playing venues like The Great Hall to now playing the Elgin and at the Junos, it will be fun to see where she goes from here in the coming years. As for those awards, Cardin took home Junos for Album of the Year, Pop Album of the Year and Artist of the Year – an impressive feat!
– Kyle Cadogan

Posted on by guestwriter in Concerts