Throughout his career, singer Karl Tremblay was an outstanding crowd leader and of immense generosity. Tuesday evening, during the ceremony dedicated to him, the public returned a hundredfold all the happiness he gave them.
There were more than 14,000 people to offer him his 10e and last Bell Center during this moving evening also broadcast on social networks. Up to 121,000 people watched it live on the Cowboys Fringants Facebook page.
“Karl lived great moments of his life within these walls. Walls that still vibrate thanks to all this joy, and if you listen carefully, you can still hear his voice resounding everywhere,” said the evening’s master of ceremonies, Émile Proulx-Cloutier.
From the start, he paid a very sincere tribute to the singer. “It would have taken a place 100 times bigger to accommodate you all. But it would not be big enough to contain all the love that Quebec feels for Karl, nor the pain that his departure leaves in its wake. »
After a charged minute of silence, one of the rare songs written by Karl Tremblay, Royal Pub, was performed by singer Alexia Gourd, who plays in the musical of the same name. She was accompanied by a string quintet from the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
Les Cowboys Fringants is also a story of friendship and love, recalled the master of ceremonies. Then with very long applause, the crowd welcomed the three members of the group, Marie-Annick Lépine, Jean-François Pauzé and Jérôme Dupras.
They spoke one after the other, the emotion palpable even through our screens – we can imagine the tears there.
The lyricist and alter ego of Karl Tremblay, Jean-François Pauzé, first recalled how much his friend loved life. “He was a fundamentally joyful person, who was almost always happy. » He was also a modest and humble man, who eventually overcame his shyness because he knew that his mere presence did good.
“Karl always took his time. He loved without a pedestal. »And the one who had easy happiness will have spent his life playing, says Jean-François Pauzé. “At work, on stage, in his leisure time. Having fun was a philosophy of life. He gathered his loved ones and crowds together because he was happy. »
He is also the friend he will miss, caring, comforting, full of warmth, he added with emotion. The three friends hugged each other before Marie-Annick Lépine paid tribute to her lover.
“He was very shy in life, a charismatic leader when he walked the stage. He had an innate talent for singing. Incredible vocal power, and because he was a sensitive and good human, he internalized each word accurately. »
The musician recalled how Karl Tremblay loved more than anything to bring people together for pleasure and leisure, and how he knew how to draw people into each of his passions.
“I love you, Karl Tremblay, we love you, our big guy. Our giant tree. You will stay in our memories for so long. The first thing you’re afraid of forgetting when someone leaves is their voice. I think we’ll be hearing it for a long time. »
Bassist Jérôme Dupras also paid tribute to his friend who, on the Plains last summer, “with one knee on the ground, sang as if there was no tomorrow”. “I felt like I had played with Maurice Richard. He defined the word courage, in the name of the song and the audience, and carried us all on his back. »
Then, as at the end of each show, he presented the singer, for the last time in this Bell Center which will have contained so much joy thanks to him: “Make some noise for the one, the unique, the eternal Karl Tremblay ! »
The life and work of Karl Tremblay could not be better celebrated than with the cries and applause of the crowd that followed. The three friends then sang On my shoulder with all their soul and their fragility, supported by the public who sang with them, in a moment of great solidarity. Karl Tremblay would certainly have been happy to see that his legacy was already bearing fruit.