Rock en Seine 2022: the emotional lift of Stromae in a futuristic and precise closing concert

Rock en Seine 2022: the emotional lift of Stromae in a futuristic and precise closing concert

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

A large screen lights up at the back of the stage, as if we were going to attend an open-air projection. A film begins that 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. Stromae’s avatar, an emblematic figure in the clips from his latest album, appears in a futuristic laboratory, populated by robots of all kinds. The lights get off. The real Stromae enters the scene in his frilly shirt and with the strands of his hair tied up in two little macaroons. “You have more victories than defeats”, begins, under the howls of joy from the public that finds, little by little, its energy.

We had gotten used to his perfectionism during his previous tours. This is no exception to the rule: in Stromae, everything is precise. Accompanied by his four musicians behind their white instruments out of a spaceship of star trek, the singer connects the boards. The screen behind him is divided into eight pieces that are articulated in various ways to the rhythm of the songs to create multiple atmospheres. in the room When is, the plates make a show and turn 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 wardrobe almost every change of scenery. He arrives in pastel green pants for the first three songs, light and lively, and puts on another one, this time black, for his saddest and deepest sounds. The set follows the rhythm and transforms to the rhythm of his wishes: his microphone stand becomes a politician’s desk for his piece. children of joy while his chair is replaced by a sofa which he collapses onto during his title Bad day. Stromae unfolds before the public a film designed from start to finish.

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

Under his many hats, Stromae also plays the role of entertainer and tries to wake up his audience who are sometimes restless by the change of atmosphere of the different songs. before the song Health does not start, a small voice gives the rules to respect: “Ladies and gentlemen, follow the safety instructions for the next song.”. The singer’s avatar asks viewers to learn some dance steps: arms extended to the left and then to the right. A great initiative, fun, but difficult to apply to 40,000 people united… who did not play anything. “Pity”confesses 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 familiar and soft.”

Stromae has composed three multi-hit albums. CheeseReleased in 2010, it was a stunning success, notably thanks to its vitamin title, then we dance, which made the artist known throughout the world. After exhaustion and major health problems that forced him to leave the stage for a few years, the Belgian singer is back this year with a bang with a new album. Album that deals with his depression, his difficulties and his pain. Are these themes compatible with an audience of festivalgoers thirsty for dance and applause? Absolutely. As the song begins hell, a title that addresses the theme 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 that he chooses.

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

The setlist was also not randomly composed. Thanks to an effective combination, Stromae managed not to undermine the morale of his audience and keep the excitement constant. She sings titles that move, that make you smile like all the same Where My love whose clip from the reality version made netizens laugh a few weeks ago. Then, change of environment. The singer enters a darker cycle with his theme loneliness, that speaks of loneliness and celibacy. “Are you still Rock en Seine?”he says laughing. The public clings and follows the artist’s pirouettes without losing enthusiasm.

To keep up, Stromae was able to rely on his legendary strikes. When the first notes of Dad where are you 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 is a success: “It’s the first time I’ve seen Stromae live and it was just as I imagined.” The same thing happens in Enormous, a piece during which the trampling of emotion created an immense cloud of dust. But the apotheosis takes place during the encore: Stromae ends in its inimitable then we dancewhich once again demonstrates its timelessness.

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