Presented by the World Music/CrashArts
Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight
(Boston, MA) As a vocalist Carla Bruni had an effortless delivery, and she was best crooning at a mellow level, which any close listener of Bruni’s albums would already know. Her voice was much fuller and sultrier at a slow pace, which conveyed more genuine feelings that the audience sensed and responded to with thundery clapping. Program notes provided by World Music/CrashARTS prepared the audience for a coup de foudre, the French term for falling in love at first sight, trying to ready everyone for a moody and emotional evening of intimate ballads. Ultimately, as anticipated, this was a performance for romantics to attend the week of Valentine’s Day; a concert presenting new songs from Carla Bruni’s latest album called “French Touch.”
It was an evening for Frenchies and Francophiles, like myself (check out my bio on the About Us page). Before the show, patrons in the audience chatted in both English and French. When a roadie came out to check microphones and tested them in French, I was absolutely delighted. I was also pleased by the polished nature of French culture that pulsed throughout the Berklee auditorium. I spied young adults with sleek hairstyles and chubby middle-aged adults with sophisticated mustaches. It was almost posh.
When Carla Bruni Sarkozy arrived to the stage, she introduced one of the songs by remarking that “words are meaningless and forgettable,” which confirmed that it would definitely be an emotionally dramatic evening – not about lyrics, but about impressions. Cyril Barbessol was playing a grand piano, and his softly twinkling top notes made Bruni’s berceuses all the more intimate and elegant, as she sang and suggestively swayed in front of the audience. Bruni was unashamedly sexy, and it was refreshing.
Bruni stripped down the concert experience to its core, as she was repeatedly raw and confessional about how love is as often about coming together as it is about breaking apart, so we in the audience were transported to past romances. I remembered an Italian I spooned and smoked cigarettes with. During one of Bruni’s best love songs, an older man two seats down from me covered his face with his program and gently shook his head. It was a gesture that read “Oh yes. That memory, and that feeling.” ‒ a small yet telling reaction made whenever a singer strikes an especially poignant chord in her listener.
The audience was entranced and lulled. A most succinct way to describe this entire concert is as un rêve.
We elected a racist, homophobic, climate-change denying bigot to the office of the President who is turning our “democracy” into a fascist, totalitarian oligarchy dominated by the 1%. As predicted, Trump’s government is coming for the the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and National Public Radio. It is ever important to remain vigilant. And, for the love of all that’s sacred, keep creating. If you need help, ask for it. Our existence is our resistance. May the force be with you. – KD