Stromae’s back: on the stage with his tour of eastern North America, and on the screen with a new music video, “Quand c’est ?”
Onstage in the U.S.
After a hiatus of three months, during which he canceled ten concerts for medical reasons, Stromae has successfully kicked off the fall 2015 leg of his North American Racine Carrée tour. “I’m on stage again, again, again !!!” he exulted at his concert in Miami on September 12.
The artist hasn’t lost any energy during his time off: he was “luminous,” “whirling, twirling, grabbing, challenging, provoking,” according to Le Courrier de Floride, a French-language newspaper based in Florida. According to the newspaper, this was a record-breaking concert: “With 3,500 people in the James Knight Center, it is simply the largest francophone concert ever held in this town, by far. A large majority of the audience were French, Haitian, Quebecois and Belgian, but a good quarter of the people crowding at the entrance were 100% American, proof that the language of Molière and Eddy Merckx can be transported to the other side of the Atlantic very well.” Read the full report from Le Courrier de Floride, with media from the show, here.
Those who’ve attended a Racine Carrée concert in the US or are planning to see one in the near future may be interested to know that there has been at least one change in the setlist. Thanks to Periscope broadcasts from American fan Cathy (Iam Clapclap), we know that Stromae has performed “Te Quiero,” the second hit from his first album, in both Miami and Atlanta. Stromae had never previously performed the song in the US. Going trilingual, he even introduces the song in Spanish.
Onstage in Miami, Stromae told his audience that he had been very sick this summer, and thanked his family and his girlfriend for supporting him through a difficult time. Following the show, he did not stay to greet fans individually as he often does. Instead, he agreed only to a single group photo.
Don’t forget to follow Stromae’s fall 2015 North American tour with American fan Cathy live via Periscope. Click here to learn how.
New Video for “Quand c’est ?”
Last June, just at the same time that Stromae left his African tour, Fader broke the news of a new video on the horizon: a sixth official video from the album Racine Carrée would be released, for “Quand c’est ?” For “Quand c’est ?”, Fader wrote, “he’ll capture his fear of cancer by dancing alone in a single shot.” Unfortunately, the news was overshadowed by concerns over the performer’s health and fell largely under the radar.
Yesterday, the anticipated video was released, to universal acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Twenty-four hours after its release, the black-and-white clip had 1,500,000 views on YouTube. Dark, haunting, and powerful, it captures the terrifying devastation of the disease of cancer.
The video was directed by Xavier Reyé, a Frenchman best known for his photography centered on themes of alienation and disintegration (see his Flickr gallery here).
The special effects and animation were created by Belgian company Benuts, who also created the animations for the Racine Carrée tour (read more on their work with Stromae here).
The video was filmed late last January at Theater Jeusette, an abandoned theater in Seraing, Belgium. Update, September 16: Before filming the video, the artist’s team spent a few days quietly cleaning and making repairs to the site, which had been vandalized and had fallen into severe disrepair since its abandonment in the 90s. After the cleanup, the filming took place unobtrusively over several days. In the future, the city plans to reopen the location as a cultural center, including a performance space seating 1500. Belgian newspaper Le Soir published an interesting article on the choice of location and the process, including a behind-the-scenes photo of the filming, here.
Theater Jeusette in August 2015:
Much of the animation for the tour was inspired by the graphics in the 2010 award-winning indie video game Limbo. The video for “Quand c’est ?” takes that imagery a a step further, pulling the giant insect-like creature that embodies the disease off the two-dimensional screen and into a macabre three-dimensional world.
Here’s a sampling of the press response to “Quand c’est ?” that’s been published in the twenty-four hours since the video was released:
cover photo: Stromae performing “Quand c’est ?” in Atlanta September 14, 2015. photographer unknown