Review by Carrianne Bell. Photos courtesy of Véronique Pelletier.
Phil Collins doesnt often give concerts anymore; that’s due to him being deaf in one ear and his hands can no longer grip a pair of drumsticks effectively.
So if you haven’t seen him live yet, chances are you won’t be having that experience anytime soon. But what if I were to tell you there was an alternative? A chance to not only hear his songs live, impeccably performed but also up close and personal? Martin Levac offered me the opportunity to do just that.
With the help of his band, Martin Levac presented Phil Collins’ B-Sides, February 19 at Le Centre d’art La Chapelle on the outskirts of Quebec City.
Known for his large stage show, Dance Into The Light, Levac offered an extremely intimate concert showcasing the B -Sides of Collins repertoire.
The B-Side band was small with only three musicians plus Levac himself. What they lacked in numbers however, they definitely made up for in talent. The arrangements were incredible: the sound full and encompassing. I cannot stress how much ability there was on that stage. The guitar solos, the interludes, the subtleties of the music were impeccable. Levac himself brought down the house with a bongo dual with his percussionist leading to my personal favourite song, Strangers Like Me.
Levac began with his first band in 1986. It became apparent quite young that he not only had a passion for Collins music, but he also had an uncannily similar voice to the star. In fact, he is the only impersonator approved by Collins himself. Singer, composer, percussionist, keyboardist, Levac has four albums under his belt, the latest entitled 1985. His velvety voice will charm you on every track.
This show was magnificent.
I love Phil Collins, and if I closed my eyes, there was no way to tell Levac from the original. The concept of the B-side tracks was also great for the die hard fans.
I am often disappointed when I go see an artist that I love, only to find that the more artistic and less popular songs aren’t played. This was definitely not the case: the set list was quirky and fulfilled my desire to hear songs I wouldn’t normally expect to hear. In addition to the b-sides, the best of the best (in my humble opinion) were sprinkled in the mix. True Colours, I Wish it Would Rain, and Another Day in Paradise.
Although this particular show will be in hiatus in Quebec City for a while, Levac will be back at Le Capitole de Québec this coming October.
I, for one, am counting the days until I can be front row centre.
I hope to see you there with me!
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