If you know anything about me, you’d know that I only ‘stan’ for three people; that’s Jesus, Prince and the guy I’m about to sing praises for – Stromae. After pulling in fresh from a trip in Paris I received the good news that I was going to see the musical genius live at The Apollo and what a night it was.
For those who aren’t savvy with music Stromae is ripping apart the charts in Euroworld, and it seems like the english speaking west are finally catching on. It’s about time too, after releasing his critically acclaimed “Alors on Danse” he claimed the ears and hearts of many. As well as his ultimately catchy dance beats, what sets Stromae apart from his musical counterparts is the lyrical content. Firstly, it’s all in French so you’d be forgiven for not understanding, but his lyrics stretch from dealing with cancer to HIV/AIDS to deadbeat daddies and the relationships between men and women.
I came across Stro’ by total accident. I was Tumblr surfing out of boredom (lies, I was supposed to be working) when someone posted his song “Je Cours” and from that moment it’s been a love affair – seeing him live only elevated my love and appreciation for this man.
I only have one word to describe the night – everything. Stromae performed hits from both studio albums. I have to applaud him for the performance of “Alors on Dance” where he took us all the way back to the ‘90s. I mean he mixed together “Push the Feeling On”; “Gypsy Woman”; “Insomnia” and “Rhythm is a Dancer” for goodness sake! Then he took me back to several years of childhood African parties when he performed “Papaoutai” – his band was not playing with the Congolese Rhumba! I had to put down my camera and sell ‘no-waist’ realness (mind you, I was by myself).
As for the crowd – immense. French (and non-French) speakers gathered in their masses to show support, after all – it was a sold out show. I have never seen so many people dance and sing along at a concert (even the huge ones have the most boring of audiences). Oh and the French have a weird tendency to shout out “à poil” during performances… It basically means naked. Let’s just say, I learned a lot of French that evening.
Besides his unique dance moves and dance-charged music; we were treated to stunningly hypnotic visuals. His performance of “Quand C’est” was accompanied with a visual that depicted cancer as an arachnid type creature slowly taking over the screen in an abyss like darkness.
Honestly, I can’t fault the show in the slightest. The only problem I had was that he didn’t sing my ultimate favourite “Sommeil” – I literally know all the words and was ready to start sobbing tears of happiness, if I ever get the chance to see him perform that live, I could do a very happy person.
Without sounding like a crazy hyper-fan, Stromae is an artist who EVERYONE needs to take note of. He might not be booty-popping and selling sex like your favourites (not that there’s anything from with that), but he makes music that matters. You don’t necessarily need to be able to speak French, but the subject matters he’s dealing with is universal.
Once again Stromae, thank you for being you. Thank you for an amazing show and again – if you’re reading this, let’s hang out sometime.