Floanne sketched her concept of “love is French” throughout the evening, giving her perspectives on how to give and receive romance in the world today. Most of her philosophizing was based in broad romantic common sense, “give her flowers,” “get to know one another,” and never had the individualism of her love experiences. This advice, while not entirely without merit, was also always too uncertain for the kind of bravura associated with the French cabaret and was made all the more threadbare by the startling commitment and intensity of her musical performances.
Floanne’s French is a surprisingly tactile language when sung. Rather than the words emitting from her like plumes of smoke she details every vowel and consonant with a crisp clarity. While she might play the unassuming girl next door in her self-induced scripting between songs, the music exhumes a vitality and confident immediacy in Floanne. Through her embodiment of the composer’s passions of love she shows her audience that love is more than what she’s setting it up to be. Love, to her, is passion and it’s drama. Her accompanists, Joe Cohn on guitar, Ian J. MacDonald on piano and Luca Santaniello on drums, were all wonders. They maintained a calm personability as the chanteuse experimented with the evening’s forward momentum and had both the dexterity of the practiced instrumentalist and the spontaneity of the cabaret performer.
Towards the end of the evening’s set list Floanne abandoned her concept, which was fettering her personality in uncertainty, and enjoyed an encore of Edith Piaf. Abandoning her chair and with a tumbler of whiskey in hand she pulsated through Piaf’s “Padam.” Floanne, once unburdened of her script and overly apologetic shifts in the evening’s program felt free to let loose with the audience and, more importantly, herself. She gained a connection with the audience that was organic and immediate and in those moments she found victory this Bastille Day.
One night only.