ADELAIDE HALL TORONTO
WEDNESDAY JULY 12TH 2017
By Keith Sharp
There are times when an audience is appreciative of a performance and is rewarded with an encore or two – and there are those rare times when a performance is so captivating that the audience absolutely refuses to let the artist leave the stage.
Such was the occasion Wednesday at Adelaide Hall where French recording artist Tètè, marked his Toronto headline debut with a performance of such stunning simplicity that over 180 devout Francophones crammed into the small venue and were totally mesmerized by his acoustic set.
In reality, he is just one man with an arsenal of guitars and a drum loop but 16 years of touring none-stop around Europe, Asia and Australia has taught Tètè that simplicity is everything. Fluently bi-lingual in English and French, he quickly bonded with the French majority in the room. And It didn’t take much cajoling to have them singing, waving their arms and even jumping up and down as they were obviously enamoured with his infectious personality.
The majority of Tètè’s set list may be French but even anglophiles like yours truly could connect with the spirit and magnetism of his performance. And it was obviously a thrill for Tètè that many of his audience did know his material and sang along to songs like “Persona Non Grata” “Fils De Cham”, “Pierrot Lunaire” and “Chanteur Sous Vide”. All he had to do was strum the intro to his biggest hit, “A La Faveur De L’Automne” for the fans to carry the first verse by themselves.
Tètè finally broke up the party by walking into the crowd to sing his finale “The Sorrow Song”and it was evident from the hero worship exhibited by this crowd that those numbers will increase when he comes back to Eastern Canada in January.
Hamilton’s Darcy Feaver had the daunting task of opening the show but she proved to be a masterful addition to the lineup. Like Tètè, she performed acoustically, and although she sang in English to a French audience she won them over with the pure strength of her vocals.
Strongly influenced by Jan Arden but sounding much like Melissa Etheridge, Feaver powered through tracks off her debut EP “Believe” with songs like “Letting Go”, “You Don’t Know Me” and “I Would Die For You” exhibiting strong song writing sensibilities and a charismatic stage presence. She, like Tètè also possesses an ability to connect with her audience with some humorous quips. At one point, she announced “I’m now going to play my latest song, that I just made up back stage, it’s called Tètè, yeah like I wish it was that easy.”