Gallery: Mina Tindle at Bataclan
Tonight saw the coming together of two artists that sing in French that have been on my radar for some time now. The headliner came from Montréal hot on the heels of her second album, Blonde, being released just as I arrived in France. Cœur de Pirate sings songs centered around love and with the kind of sweetness you expect from pop, but up till tonight her sheer talent on the piano was only heard via her albums. I honestly don’t think she’s ever played Chicago. So obviously, you get the opportunity to see her here, you take it when you’re from the Midwest. The première partie or opener, Mina Tindle, was someone who most recently came to my attention mostly through several mentions on Gorilla vs. Bear, yet…her work seems centered around Paris. That little unique “what???” made me curious, checked out her debut EP (review), and now presented the first chance to see Mina Tindle live.
Quick verdict. She’s the real deal, and more. I honestly count myself lucky to have seen her here, opening, instead of later next year or the year after because she’s got talent. Mina opened her set with an introductory song, which she built herself using pedals (I assume, couldn’t see from where I was at) to build a platform to construct her songs upon. For the first minutes of her short set she was alone on stage, but managed to mimic a larger band doing this. “Plein Nord” started the night’s set, which gave that small, intimidate sound that I had mentioned briefly in the EP review that I guessed would treat her music the best, which it did tonight at Bataclan.
“To Carry Many Small Things” was slowed down with a sort of scratchy, electronic percussive beat contrary to the video single of her dancing across the stage. It was very minimalistic compared to the piano and handclap recorded version. But minimalistic meant intimidate even in such a large concert hall as the Bataclan. Even her between song chats with the audience held a sort of coy, newcomer freshness that helped the crowd connect with the chanteuse. She showed a comfort performing on stage too, as she expanded the last quarter of the song singing, “It’s just a game that we have to play. A game, just a game we have to play.” Impressively enough, the way she chorused her vocals on stage made it sound like the EP-albeit with only her and her fellow musician, Olivier, on stage.
She performed a few songs that don’t appear on the EP, one about a little crazy, hysterical Italian woman that has a sort of urgency to the tempo, while the final song of the night had a welcome depth thanks to Olivier taking on the bass. It reminds me much of a very delicate, more restrained (French) Maggie Morrison the way the songs make you want to dance, but focus on her talented voice more so than the music.
Like I said, haven’t had much opportunities to see Cœur de Pirate living in the Midwest. Not like she’ll jump across the Great Lakes and hit up Madison, right? It’s a pity too given her pop prowess. At first, the show was a little disorientating since, as I’ve mentioned, not many people outside of the Francophone world may know of her in spite of the fact her self-titled debut flew off shelves. Disorientating in that alternative universe sort of way when you’re looking at a stage that set up similar to a 1950s TV appearance with the drummer to stage left, bassist stage right with so much space. And Cœur is surprisingly petite, but that adds to her charm on stage, especially seated in front of a massive piano. But she was tiny tiny compared to the Bataclan as she and her band kicked off the night with “Verseau”, which felt very much so like a late night TV appearance given her newfound classic pop sound that continued with “Danse et danse.”
Overall live, her sound is much more punchy, more rocky than the intimacy you’d expect off her self-titled. It filled the large, sold out venue easily. “La vie est ailleurs” had much added to it with a bottom end that’s heavier and really caught your attention if it wasn’t caught thus far, especially the piano punches. “Ava” was a surprise, which sounded phenomenal bouncing off the balcony with Béatrice’s voice really shining through. Soon thereafter, “Loin d’ici” was another gem that infused a bit of country into the evening after she mentioned that she likes Dolly Parton. The entire audience got into it with handclaps, and was the most refreshing song of the night.
Yet she gave us a break, dipping back into what originally captured my attention-the slower, piano driven songs that tug forth her voice due to the ivories alone with “La petite morte” and “C’était salement romantique.” It was expertly placed due to the follow-ups turning up the tempo, moving from “Printemps” to “Ensemble” to “Golden Baby.” The latter is catchy on Blonde, but live it’s nearly arena-esque in the best of senses as the key-driven rock pop easily works when lights are sweeping over you.
The set came to a conclusion with the two singles, “Comme des enfants” and the obvious final choice, “Adieu,” her new single. “Comme des enfants” was exactly as I had imagined it would be with Béatrice not ever needing to direct the sold out audience to sing mot pour mot. Yet she proved tonight that her true closer should be “Adieu”, a subversive guitar rocker with pop melodies mixed in. While she drew the Bataclan in with her piano melodies into a pleasant lull, it woke everyone up to leave people on a high note. Yet, the end didn’t come until an encore of “Place de la République”, a solo piece leaving her on stage in front of her piano, focused entirely in on the touching song within only minutes of la Place de la République.
Those who came to Bataclan probably came for Cœur de Pirate tonight. However, Mina Tindle definitely showed us that while having a full band is tremendous, a mere two can play that game themselves and leave people talking. Just afterwards, Béatrice Martin definitely left me with a greater appreciation of where her music is going. It’s always good to be surprised by every performer in one night.
Cœur de Pirate Setlist:
“Lève les voiles”
“Danse et danse”
“La vie est ailleurs”
“Fondu au noir”
“Pour un infidèle”
“Les amours dévouées”
“Le long du large”
“La petite mort”
“C’était salement romantique”
“Comme des enfants”
“Place de la République”