Hubert Lenoir M For Montreal, Montreal QC, November 14
Published Nov 15, 2018La Sala Rossa melted into a lusty, sweaty mess all because of Hubert Lenoir, who stepped out mostly shirtless to jazzy cacophony. with twirling Michael Jackson-esque footwork. He conducted his band's clamour with gestures and jumps. He teased with bits of melody as the crowd itself roiled. Then he dove into a set that, incredibly, no one drowned in, though not once did we come up for air.
His antics sometimes bordered on the ridiculous; Lenoir's smirk screams that he loves to provoke. He advised the crowd to "jamais 'deep throat' quelqu'un que tu respectes pas tabarnak" (just as, he said, he respects his half-swallowed Félix). He crowd-surfed twice, middle fingers pointed up, and pinballed through sticky bodies to dance and drink (and spew) on the bar. He French kissed a band member mid-strum.
His last song's interludes were a hoarsely screamed "Teenage Dream" over the beat of a ghoul's drum and a riotous intro to "Smells like Teen Spirit." And the wildest part was that for every leap into art or absurdity, the crowd's mania caught Hubert and hurled him even higher. He stuck out his hand and they pulled at his skin. They wanted — needed — a piece of Lenoir himself.
What Lenoir thrashed against so ferociously is also what he ultimately returned to: "la culture québécoise." His encore: a cover of Jean-Pierre Ferland's "Si on s'y mettait." "Fuck nos traditions," he added, before howling home.