You don’t know who Lisa LeBlanc is? That’s okay, neither do a lot of people.
Lisa LeBlanc is an Acadian singer-songwriter who has a huge following in Québec and the Maritimes. However she only sang en français… Until now! This Fall, Lisa released her very first English EP Highways, Heartaches And Time Well Spent on her Montréal-based record label Bonsound. And if you thought singing in English would divide her French-speaking fans, you were wrong. The English album has already rocketed into the top 10 albums sold in Canada since its release.
There is no question here that Lisa’s raucous and rowdy folk-trash songs translate well into English, she even told The Star that she will be working on a follow-up full-length album that is slated to come out sometime in 2016.
So with all this rapid success with her first English EP it was no surprise that her show on Friday, November 14th at The Drake Underground in Toronto was completely sold out. A majority of the audience were Francophone – her base fans, but there was a good mix of people and I do not doubt that this concert helped expose her to a new English-speaking audience.
Lisa came on stage full of energy (after taking shots of whiskey off stage of course) to the excitement of the audience. One thing you might not realize when you listen to her music is that a Lisa LeBlanc show is a dancing show! It is hard not to get swept up in the excitement as Lisa stradles her banjo and goes to town on those chords!
In between songs she had a lot of conversations with the crowd, speaking in a fake Québécois accent that then turned to Italian then maybe Russian. I think she was maybe taking a bit of a piss on the anglophone audience, assuming many Torontonians don’t understand the difference between Acadia and Québec. Nothing was offensive and she had the whole room laughing at her attempts at the stereotypical French Canadian accent. Half way through the set she asked: “Qui parle français dans la salle?” (Who speaks French here), to which almost everyone raised their hands. Lisa joked about how she should’ve been speaking French the whole time.
All-in-all, this concert was a great opportunity for Lisa to “come out” to a new English-speaking audience and her presence definitely did not go unnoticed. I can’t wait until she comes around again to play at a bigger venue after the release of her English LP in 2016.
Toronto loves you Lisa!