Not only are we in the habit of agreeing with the Americans, but as far as Stromae is concerned, we agree: This was world class.
At the festival, don’t really hope for pretty and good performances: there should be at least one that makes everyone think “how good we got to experience it.” At Werchter Boutique that was Stromae’s performance. Both rolling rock if painting Name it one of the 210 Coachella parties you had to watch in April. He said, “The young electric rocker’s performance was everything Drake’s performance wasn’t.” painting: honesty, passion, efficiency, humor, self-confidence and ambition. He is a complete star in the body of a budding talent.
It was really that emotion that did it. Stromae scored the highest on many points. The sound was great. The way his four musicians blended “weird” elements into their electrics – ukulele in “Fils de Joie”, Peruvian charango guitar in “Santé” – sounded completely natural and mature, not like a clever product invention. The variety in performance, and the ease with which Stromae transforms from one atmosphere to another, is astonishing: the gentle voices in ‘Quand c’est’ silence even the chatter of this light-hearted audience, the daring depleted and depressing setting in him. A catchy song like “L’enfer”, which he will have to sing until the end of his days, deserves respect.
But it was his knack for mobilizing emotion that tightens your throat in songs that are impossible to stand idly by, like “Papaoutai”: 45,000 people danced to their souls — and how nice it was to see. He altered the difficult moments with gentle humor: the robot dog who brought him a towel, his comment that his supervisor Yosho Moshodo didn’t really understand “anything” in his Dutch-binding texts, because of the Japanese-French-the other three were Belgians.
Stromae has a non-Belgian star appeal, whether he’s rambling around the stage in slow motion or drumming during “Ta fête.” Had he not been wearing a Spanish-style shirt with flowing mantillas, but at an old running track from Slagerij Van Kampen, his presence would still have been overwhelming. Yet the unassuming Belgian who widely praised his four musicians – by the way, rightly – but also his ways, security, and even the Belgian film studio that made the Stromae animation that showed us on the big screen remained, among other things, a dance for “Santi” .
No matter how hard the others tried, they were all supportive of Stromae here. This would also have been the case if he had sung at the Rock Werchter after the Metallica or Pearl Jam, in front of 60,000 people. “Comrades: Thank you very much,” he said after a brutal version of “Alors on danse.” The fun was entirely on our side.
Stromae, seen at Werchter Boutique on June 19, 2022
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