Christine and the Queens played a sold-out show at Terminal 5 Monday night. The brainchild of Héloïse Letissier, CATQ is not so much a project, but a reimagination of synth-pop and dance. Instead of conforming to traditional rules of pop music, Christine is flexing the boundaries with R&B influences, jolting dance and non-conforming dress. More importantly, she is doing so as the most complete and honest expression of herself.
Christine began the set as she always does – by announcing that this is a free zone and for the next couple of hours you can be anything you want to be, including a sink or a bicycle (“a bicycle is more sexy”). Self-love, acceptance and individuality are themes that emanate from the artist. Christine, backed by her fierce accomplices, the “Queens,” performed songs off of her 2014 debut album, Chaleur Humaine, which was later repackaged as a self-titled album for its release in the United States. The album is an impressive debut, but it does not adequately capture Christine’s presence. Her music is as much about the visual as the sound.
Sharp choreography mimes the music. During “iT” a bright light envelopes Christine creating a shadowy figure that is twice the size of the “half lady” as she sings “Cause I’ve got it/ I’m a man now.” In the routine for “Tilted” CATQ transition from crisp moves into an exaggerated stumble, catching themselves in a Michael Jackson-esq tilt. The moves seem to symbolize Christine stumbling and catching herself once she has finally admitted who she really is to herself. Later she chastised herself for not being stronger and standing up for someone being bullied as she offered up the confessional “Saint Claude.”
On stage, Christine is self-deprecating, mindful and charming – often throwing out, “hashtag angry French girl.” She addresses the crowd like old friends as she presents highly-confessional songs and anecdotes. As delicate as she is strong, Christine is the embodiment of empowerment. Christine, as Letissier puts it, is “a full expression of myself,” and not only the crowd has recognized her uniqueness and humility. In 2015 she was awarded Best Female Artist at the Victoires de la Musique (the French version of the Grammys) and recently TIME Magazine named her as one of the Next Generation Leaders.
Christine and the Queens will be on tour in the United States for another week before heading to the United Kingdom. They will be performing on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night. Make sure to tune in to NBC at 11:35pm.
Article: Alx Bear