Photos by Dakota Arsenault
Montreal singer Charlotte Cardin kicked off the first night of a two night stand at the Great Hall in Toronto with an entertaining but far too short set.
The night got off to a great start with Toronto synth-pop artist Ralph. Rafaella Weyman has a great stage presence and energy as she played playful songs like ‘Tease’ and turned in a heartfelt cover of the old disco standard ‘Young Hearts Run Free’, bringing her own unique touch to it.
She turned in an ode to the much maligned millennial generation with a song about never having enough. Weyman even debuted a song that was less than a week old. She played most of the songs from her self-titled EP and capped off her opening set with ‘Cold to the Touch’.
Cardin took to the stage and kicked off the night with her current hit, the jazzy ‘Big Boy’. Each song drew a big cheer from the audience and she even performed a few in French. She spent most of her time behind a keyboard but played guitar for a couple songs.
The minimal stage set-up continued into Cardin’s set but again, it only served the music well and brought an intimate feel to the evening. She included the inevitable song about a friend dating a “giant douche” but managed to make it sound fresh.
She may only have an EP’s worth or material under her belt but Cardin took the opportunity to road test new songs on the sizable crowd that had gathered for the gig. If the reaction was any indication, the new songs she trotted out were well-received. She even brought a Latin feel to one song that worked surprisingly well.
Cardin’s Jazz with beats may be nothing new but she still brought a unique feel to it thanks to her engaging presence, even though she admitted to being nervous at one point. It didn’t show. If anything, it made her set feel all the more engaging. ‘Just Like That’ was a prime example of the jazzy trip-hop that informed much of her set. She finished with ‘Main Girl’ before returning for a two song encore, telling the audience that she had played 99 per cent of her songs.
The last song of the night saw just Cardin on stage for a piano-ballad that served as the perfect end to the evening.
It may have been a far too short set but if the music that was on display was any indication, we will definitely be seeing longer sets in bigger venues before too long. There was a, “I was there when …” feel to the night.