Formidable resumes perfectly Stromae’s performance last night at the Buckhead Theatre. Our national maestro was in a superb shape, totally connected with his audience, respectuous of his team … As a rap/hip-hop version of a modern Jacques Brel with powerful songs based on personal experiences and realities of life, he blew us away. Our compatriot is not just a singer, a musician and a composer but a true entertainer. Inoubliable.
Shortly after being advertised, the concert was sold out with, as usual, a few tickets circulating on the black market at high price. We were all relieved to see it go through since the cancellation of Stormae’s previous concerts was alarming. His youngest fans were already queueing since mid afternoon and beATLe Mathilde was among the lucky ones to intercept Stromae for a selfie.
While all of his songs were sung in French, Stromae showed multilingual talents. He interacted with his public in English including French and even a few words in Spanish. This language-switch was masterly handled and was no bother. Simply said: he was understood.
Our star was accompanied by four musicians soberly dressed with bowler hats and bow ties. The stage was relatively simple but the background was a projection of animated visuals and shadows were playing a huge role.
Starting his concert dressed in black and white with his cardigan and bow tie, Mr. Paul changed outfits a few times during his show. Nothing extravagant. Simplicity being his forte.
Danse , t’inquiète pas tu vas danser… And we did. Starting his show with ‘Ta fête’, he immediately set the pace for a fabulous night. ‘Bâtard’ was next… je suis, j’étais et resterai moi…. followed by ‘Peace Or Violence’ forming a V with his longitudinal fingers.
As expected, he built up some suspense with his four Chapters each time interrupted by a retentissant TINTIN from his fans… Sitting at a corner of the stage, Chapter I gave him the chance to wipe the sweat off his face. During Chapter II we saw him put on pink lipstick and jewelry before starting the next Chapter during which he put on a pink and black jacket. Chapter IV was the performance itself: ‘Tous les mêmes’… rendez-vous, rendez-vous, rendez-vous sûrement aux prochaines règles… with dance moves demonstrating both feminine and masculine demeanors.
Many times he interrupted his show to refresh his face and at a certain moment, shuffling with his earpieces, he candidly stated ‘I am sweating inside my ears‘ …
We were thrilled to listen to ‘Quand c’est ?‘, his new but somber song [the clip was released on 9/14] dealing with the hardships of cancer. Stromae’s choreography, made of contorsions to get away from the disease’s shadowy reach, was gripping.
‘Papaoutai’ was frantically requested and Stromae, dressed in his summery blue and yellow outfit, as rigid as a a figure from Madame Tussaud, was carried onto the stage, by his musicians. They put him in standing position until he jumped back to life to perform insane moves.
Te quiero, Ave Cesaria, Formidable, Carmen, Humain à l’eau (Leçon n°23), Alors on danse were all included in his repertory. However, the evening was not all about singing … As a proud Belgian, he talked about the burger he ate but more importantly what was on the side: the fries, the Belgian fries. He also claimed the croissants to be Belgian and he was loudly applauded when he stated that even France comes from Belgium! But trèves de plaisanteries, de vannes pourries and he went on with Paulo qui aime les moules frites, sans frites et sans mayo.
At the end, a big merci appeared on the screen behind Stromae who thanked not only his public but everyone involved with his show, from his muscians to the security guards…. A real gentleman, appreciative of all. He had some humoristic gestures when, surrounded by his musicians, he tried to put an end to the concert imitating the flight attendants presenting the emergency exits.
The excited crowd insisted for une autre … Suddenly a microphone magically appeared. He ‘chuuuut’ the public and in perfect synchronization with his four musicians transformed into chorists, Stromae performed an astonishing a cappella version of Tous Les Mêmes. With powerful snaps of their fingers as only instrumental accompaniment the act was absolutely divine.
Loin d’être minable, tu étais formidable, Stromae!
I compiled a few clips from last night that you can watch here but it last slightly over 10 minutes.