Corey Hart opens FEQ with high-energy performance

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Photo: Renaud Philippe, courtesy of FEQ

Corey Hart, after some travel delays, opened the Festival d’Été with an energetic performance.

Pop star Corey Hart “never surrendered” to travel obstacles in his way, including being boxed in by traffic in Montreal. That was a very good thing for organizers of the Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ) who had scrambled to have Hart fill in the abruptly vacant headliner spot on the opening Thursday of the monster festival.

Rushing onto the massive Bell stage on the Plains of Abraham after a modest 25-minute wait, the 57-year-old Montrealer declared, en français, that he had not slept in 48 hours. He had done a show on Tuesday in Japan and his flight back to Canada was delayed, launching a series of travel anxieties that forced him to miss an afternoon event planned for Quebec City fans.

All the travel woes, though, were swept aside as Hart delivered a performance driven by relentless energy and obvious emotion before an enormous and appreciative crowd. The crowd was also especially appreciative of Hart’s “love of my life” Julie Masse, a Quebec pop star in her own right, who sings with the touring band. Hart and Masse sang a powerful duet of Jean-Jacques Goldman’s “Là-Bas.”

Hart, who had played to some 8,000 fans just a month before at the Vidéotron Centre, switched up his set list to include renditions of songs by other artists including The Police, The Beatles and Elvis Presley. He moved down into the crowd for a more intimate connection with his fans. It wasn’t until the encore that Hart served up two of his biggest hits, “Sunglasses at Night” and “Never Surrender.”

Hart was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in March for his lifetime achievements, including 16 million albums sold worldwide and multiple major awards and nominations, including a Grammy nod. His debut album, First Offence, was released in 1983.

 

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Corey Hart, with his wife and musical partner Julie Masse, opened the Festival d’Été de Québec on July 4.  Photo by Renaud Philippe, courtesy of FEQ