Review: Michael Girard – À contre-sens

Review: Michael Girard – À contre-sens

By Carrianne Bell

You may have heard of Michael Girard. He’s a 36 year old singer from Saguenay. He’s somewhat well-known, with four albums under his belt. In the past few years however, his career has begun to stagnate. Desperate to refresh his career, and at the urging of his friend, he auditioned for the musical reality show, La Voix, earlier this year.

If you aren’t familiar with the show, the concept is simple. The judges sit with their backs turned to the contestant and listen to him or her sing. If they are impressed, they turn around. The contestant then gets to choose from the judges that have turned to choose as a mentor. Girard was chosen by Marc Dupré. A contest then ensues with home viewers ultimately choosing the winner. Girard did not win, but it kick started his career back into gear.

Which leads us to his new show, À contre sens, which I saw on Tuesday night at La Petite Champlain Theater in Old Quebec.

Girard can sing, I’ll give him that. There is no auto tune, no tricks, no avoiding high notes. His voice is clear and he is a great talent. He is on-point, and he knows it.

This leads us to how much I hated  his performance.

It had nothing to do with his voice. I enjoy his voice. However his attitude was over the top. I have never seen a performer who appeared to think so highly of himself. I am surprised that his head didn’t explode from all the hot air in it. His attitude ruined any enjoyment that I could have gotten from his voice.

He explained to the audience that the show was eclectic. Singing a range of songs from Paul Piché to Elvis to Metallica, Girard tried to show his vocal range and diversity. Instead, he only showed me that he should stick to what he is best at: melo-dramatic ballads. I am positive that Girard he could belt out Notre-Dame-de-Paris and get a standing ovation.  His voice is meant for that kind of song. His duet with fellow contestant Emy Fournier of Que Je T’aime was incredible.

But when he started to sing a Back Street Boys medley? It was all I could do not to take his son’s advice and sneak out the back.

Everything about the show is theatrical to the point of being cheesy. The lighting, the over exaggerated movements… it felt like an overly rehearsed episode of La Voix. It is sad that  he is stuck in that box. He  could be so much more creative and entertaining if he was just himself. He does not need the lights nor the gestures to prove that he is a good singer. He just needs to relax and let his talent speak for itself.

His new single, On Est La! co-written by  the extremely talented Mathieu Lippé (my favourite Québécois poet) and Marc Papillon (talented musician extraordinaire), is now gracing the airwaves. I suggest you check it out. It’s a style that he does well at.

As for the show? Give it a pass and buy his CD instead.

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About Author

Carrianne Bell

Carrianne Bell has been a Vancouver transplant to Quebec since 1996. A teacher by day and self proclaimed geek by night, she enjoys going to shows and events. She also likes nightlife and loves to boogie.

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