Only the first three songs from Stromae’s performance in the Lowlands can be streamed live and Noord Nederlands Orkest has been canceled due to all preparations for its show. When we see his avatar as a young professor Barabbas playing the piano himself, we almost understand why. Roughly, because the last-minute cancellation of 160 musicians due to logistical issues remains, of course, embarrassing. But the tightly-oriented show of the Belgian-Rwandan artist is a cross-media work of art with his own narration full of movie-movie elements, a robot dog the singer brought to three technicians and a creative team bigger than a football team. . He is accompanied by a percussionist, piano, electronic guitar, bass and drums. Musicians stand behind Kraftwerk-esque columns dressed in uniforms with sun visors.
When the wonderful choral sounds of “Invaincu” are heard, the screen turns red and opens to specks of gold as the first rays of the sun hit the African savannah. Make no mistake, you’re back, Stromae seems to want to say. After seven years of absence due to illness and depression, his album is suddenly available again plurality. In three quarters of the show, Chansonnier sings a song about his depression, “L’Enfer” (Hell). Which spread in March thanks to French news. The central message is there is no light without darkness.
You hear him in songs (“Mauvaise journalée”, “Bonne journalée”), and see him on stage. Then we see how the pop star doesn’t move forward as he pushes his comfy chair forward, then crashes again in bright colors. He sings the song La Solassitude, about how you can lose each other in a long, very loud and flawless relationship with a Flamenco vibrato. Sings “Quand c’est?” A somber song with slow rhythms about a woman who has developed lung cancer, surrounded by images of black seaweed that seems to suffocate him. His huge hit Papaoutai, about his absent father, makes Alpha explode with a big light show. Getting people to dance wholeheartedly to dark songs, that’s clever. For this, a futuristic robot dog brings him his jacket, which he makes upon request. “Holy shit,” says the boy. In fact.
Also read the interview with Stromae: My wife has been moved. She said, I’m back
Stroma’s entire work is a musical spectacle. You can hear it in his live performance: from the African choir in “Invaincu”, the harpsichord introduction on “Fils de Joie” to the sunny playing of the African kora in “Mon Amour”, the silky sounds of Chinese violin in “La Solassitude” and South American guitars to the rhythm of cumbia Swinging on the “Santé”. Just as with the man himself, he is a creator of all professions – fashion designer, musician, singer and also an actor who appears during “Formidable” – his show is also a melting pot of influences. It takes the audience completely along with the charming attempts in Dutch for text and explanation. He performs a TikTok dance with the help of his avatars and musicians who, like soldiers on the go, guide everyone. Finally, we see his avatar hesitatingly hitting the synthesizer keys as he completes the story with “Alors on Danse”. It’s fitting that he’s playing a song about the importance of dancing together as a senior bouncer three years after the pandemic.
I came to the Lowlands for this kind of life changing show.
Read also: In the Lowlands full of urgency, Dutch works make early highlights
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