Iconic Quebec folk-rock star Michel Pagliero played live at the Hudson Music Festival in top form last night. It is the first live concert I and my pal Yorg from OrcaSound have attended since the start of the pandemic. As you can imagine, it felt great! It was clear this was the case for the other attendees there, as the ambiance was pleasing and filled with bright smiling faces. Attendance was limited to sixty persons, which in effect was bittersweet to have the opportunity to see Pag up close in an intimate setting. 

Predominately known for his francophone releases, Pag gained much success and fame among anglophones with hits like ” Rainshowers,” “Loving you ain’t easy,” and “What the Hell I Got” each of which he played last night. 

He kicked off his first set with his chart-topper “J’entends frapper” just one of the various francophone hits he played. He would toggle between French and English when he addressed the crowd, as he is known for being conversational with his fans. He was playful and humorous with comments like “I am going to play a song that nobody here knows,” then proceeded to play “J’ai marcher pour une nation,” a song about the Quebec nationalist movement in the early ’70s, which is safe to assume most Anglophones would be unfamiliar with. Pag’s music style is a mix of French folklorish country and classic rock, which francophone and anglophone fans can mutually appreciate. 

Michel Pagliaro with Corey Diabo Hudson Music Festival 2021

It was also a privilege to hear Corey Diabo (member of the band Jonas and the Massive Attraction) accompany Pag on the stage. Diabo is an outstanding guitarist whose guitar leads brought the fans to their feet. They closed the show with the song “T’es pas tout seul à soir” (you aren’t alone tonight), which indeed takes on new meaning during the pandemic.  

This year is the festival’s 14th season, hosting four shows in four days from July 30th to August 2nd. The festival’s remaining two shows are a tribute to James Taylor featuring Denis Ducharme and a select group of talented musicians, then will come to a close on Monday with various classical music performances.  

Michel Pagliaro with Corey Diabo Hudson Music Festival 2021

Set List

Set 1:
J’entends  frapper
Le temps presse
Seul au monde
Dans la peau
Les Bombes
J’ai marcher pour une nation
Set 2:
Rock somebody
Emeute dans la prison
Some Sing, Some Dance
Loving you ain’t easy
What the Hell I Got
Fou de toi
T’es pas tout seul à soir