the emotional lift of Stromae in a closing concert, futuristic and precise

the emotional lift of Stromae in a closing concert, futuristic and precise

The shoes are gray with dust, the legs are starting to get heavy, but the spectators are holding on for this last evening of the festival. They are tired, but impatient to find the Belgian artist Stromae, whose return to the stage has been desired. After the release of his third album Multitudelast March, he is in charge of putting an end to this 18th edition of Rock en Seine, Sunday August 28th.

A large screen lights up in the back of the stage, as if we were going to attend an outdoor projection. A film begins and takes us on a journey between an infinity of plains and pink mountains. “It’s Tatooine, Actually”a young man laughs in reference to the famous desert planet of the saga Star Wars. The avatar of Stromae, emblematic figure of the clips of his latest album, appears in a futuristic laboratory, populated by robots of all kinds. The lights go out. The real Stromae enters the stage in his frilly shirt and with the locks of his hair gathered into two small macaroons. “You have more wins than losses”, he begins, under the howls of joy of the public who finds, little by little, his energy.

He had accustomed us to his perfectionism during his previous tours. This is no exception to the rule: at Stromae, everything is precise. Accompanied by his four musicians behind their white instruments straight out of a spaceship of star trek, the singer connects the tables. The screen behind him splits into eight pieces which are articulated in various forms to the rhythm of the songs to create multiple atmospheres. on the piece When it is, the plates make a farandole and twirl behind the artist. The light is weak, and creates a dark and heavy atmosphere. A few songs later, they come together to build a building whose windows reveal domestic scenes.

Like an actor, Stromae changes his costume almost every change of scenery. He arrives in pastel green pants for the first three songs, light and lively, and puts on another, black this time, for his more sad and deep sounds. The decor follows the rhythm and transforms to the rhythm of his desires: the stand of his microphone becomes a desk for a politician for his piece sons of joy while his chair is replaced by a sofa in which he slumps during his title Bad day. Stromae unfolds before the public a film that has been thought out from start to finish.

Belgian singer Stromae at Rock en Seine, in Paris, Sunday August 28, 2022. (ANNA KURTH / AFP)

Under his many hats, Stromae also plays the role of animator and tries to wake up his public sometimes troubled by the change of atmosphere of the different songs. before the song Health does not begin, a small voice gives the rules to be respected: “Ladies and gentlemen, please follow the safety instructions for the next song”. The singer’s avatar asks the spectators to learn a few dance steps: arms outstretched to the left then to the right. A great initiative, fun, but difficult to apply to 40,000 people stuck tight together… Who did not play the game at all. “That’s a shame”confides Emilien, a young festival-goer who came to attend the concert. “He does a lot of dance calls, but the audience is a little too family and soft”.

Stromae has composed three albums with multiple hits. Cheesereleased in 2010, was a dazzling success, in particular thanks to its vitamin title, Then we dance, which made the artist known all over the world. After a burnout and major health problems, forcing him to leave the stage for a few years, the Belgian singer is back in force this year with a new album. Album which addresses his depression, his difficulties and his pains. Are these themes compatible with an audience of festival-goers thirsty for dancing and applause? Absolutely. As he begins the song hell, a title that tackles the subject of suicide, the public sings loudly from the first notes. This is Stromae’s strength: he manages to touch his audience with the simple and powerful words he chooses.

Belgian singer Stromae at Rock en Seine, in Paris, Sunday August 28, 2022. (CHRISTOPHE CRENEL)

The setlist also was not composed at random. Thanks to an effective combination, Stromae managed not to undermine the morale of its public and to maintain constant excitement. He sings titles that move, that make you smile like All The same Where My love whose reality TV version clip made Internet users laugh a few weeks ago. Then, change of atmosphere. The singer enters a darker cycle with his track loneliness, which speaks of loneliness and celibacy. “Are you still Rock en Seine?”, he says, laughing. The public clings and follows the pirouettes of the artist without losing their enthusiasm.

To keep up the pace, Stromae was able to rely on its legendary hits. When the first notes of Papaoutai resonate, the audience becomes unbearable. The artist no longer needs to sing, the spectators take over. For Jeanne, a fan of the artist since her debut, it’s a success: “It’s the first time I’ve seen Stromae live and it was just as I imagined it”. The same thing happens on Tremendous, piece during which the trampling of excitement created an immense cloud of dust. But the apotheosis takes place during the encore: Stromae ends on its inimitable Then we dancewhich once again demonstrates its timelessness.

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