During his visits in 2014 and 2015, Stromae literally blew the roof off the Bell Centre. So he made a long-awaited return there on Friday to present the first of a four-show series in Montreal, after a long hiatus and the release of a new album last spring. And the most famous Belgian singer on the planet has lived up to his reputation as a stage beast, even if he seems a little wiser and his new repertoire shows less of a balance between party and lucidity.
Perfectly warmed up by the more than energetic South African rapper Sho Madjozi, the 14,000 or so crowd rose to their feet when Stromae took the stage at 9pm. Clearly, the passing of the years hasn’t changed the intensity of the relationship between the singer and the public in Montreal, who throughout the evening shouted their love for him.
“What a welcome!” Stromae even exclaimed after the third song, all the same. We were in New York at Madison Square Garden, and they weren’t as loud as you! »
It is a super polished show delivered by Stromae, who no longer dedicates himself to changing his suit as before -in fact, he will continue to dress in the same way, light pants, white shirt and pink scarf around his neck-, but instead creates a real universe through your surroundings. every song
After a futuristic short film in which we see his animated character choosing a destination on the map: Montreal! —, Stromae began the evening with Unbeatena hymn to courage and resilience, theirs and ours.
“As long as I live, I’m undefeated”, he sings there, which could well sum up the motto of this show in which, as usual, the lucidity or the roughness of the texts come to confront the happy rhythms, whether they are closer to Africa, the Caribbean or Latin America.
In fact, only Stromae can make the audience sing the chorus of the tale. loneliness “Celibacy makes me suffer from loneliness, life as a couple makes me suffer from boredom”, the sing along the saddest in the history of music. And the new songs of him like children of joy they succeed less than perfectly in this dichotomy that inhabits all their music.
But we don’t blame him for long, because he also knows how to transport us. in the diptych bad day/good day for example, more serious but really successful in his dress, or the incredible double Papaoutai/Your partywhich was worth the detour alone.
With only four musicians installed behind some kind of music stands, in a rich but sometimes cold light environment that suits the ensemble’s futuristic imagination, Stromae inhabits the stage like a king simply sketching out a few dance steps. Behind him, sometimes abstract projections, or caricatures that support the theme or put action.
The final stretch of the show is a strong climb, starting from Enormousthat ignites the gunpowder to the end. Laughterin a universe all in black and white, hell – a powerful song about depression and suicidal thoughts that marked his return –, This is happiness, fun piece on parenthood then Healththat comes with its little choreography.
Another animated film heralds the start ofso we dance, who sings surrounded by panels of light that float in the air. And it was there, at the end of his greatest success, that once again Stromae managed to blow up the roof of the Bell Center – or rather it was the audience, who did not stop clapping and shouting, who lifted it up.
“It’s not for nothing that we had made the last recording of Square root here, at the Bell Centre, he launched the singer, hallucinated. You, in any case, know how to welcome. Do you want one last one for the road? »
The answer was yes, of course, and he settled with his musicians around the microphone for an a cappella version of My love, which he had sung earlier in the evening. In the complete silence that he managed to impose on the 14,000 people who hung from his lips, there was all the essence of Stromae, the rhythm of the Congolese rumba, the bittersweet lyrics, the pleasure of singing, the communion.
The end was even more abrupt, hoping it won’t be another seven years before he returns.
#Stromas #alive #undefeated