christine and the queens redcar montreux jazz festival switzerland performance music
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July 6, 2023
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Witnessing rebirth with Redcar

What happened at the Montreux Jazz Lab venue yesterday night had more to do with an enchantment than a concert. From his appearance on stage until his final song, Christine and the Queens/Redcar bewitched the audience in a theatrical performance heavy with meaning and deeply poignant.

On a stage transformed into a museum collection storage or an abandoned Roman temple, Redcar/Christine and The Queens appeared. With lighting so intense, sometimes red, sometimes blue, a strong chiaroscuro à la Caravaggio is set. Transported into limbo, we were hooked to his resonant singing, completely absorbed in the universe of his new album, Paranoia, Angels, True Love.

Each song was punctuated by spoken words, a long poem on faith proclaimed throughout his performance. Followed by the Archangel Michael, Redcar reflected on existing in a body made of flesh, slowly reclaiming this mortal existence. Embracing statues of an angel and a lion, changing outfits as he entered each new chapter of his show, we followed his wandering like a cathartic experience. The act transformed from a monologue to a dialogue when Madonna’s voice resonated, impersonating Big Eye, an all-knowing character accompanying Redcar on his journey.

If the rich universe Redcar built with this new album can be quite daunting, maybe even hard to get into, some of his simple words and lyrics resonated with no need for metaphors.

“Is it really good to feel that sad?
Will I ever outcome it?” - Angels crying in my bed

Overcoming his mother’s death, Redcar opens his heart on stage entirely, the album and his performance taking us with him on his healing journey. As he stood on stage, singing with angel wings, it felt like being the witness to his rebirth. The show played like a lengthy reconstruction, going through each step of grief from denial to anger and finally, acceptance.
Following hypnotic light mapping and ethereal smoke, Redcar finally faced the crowd looking fiercer than ever. As the enchantment wore off, he announced, smiling, “The spell worked, I feel both real and not real at all…”.

With a flower in his hand, the “yellow flower of hope”, he thanked the crowd: The transformation had been accomplished. It feels so good to witness the elevation of an artist in real time, and we cannot wait to discover what more will the angels bring.

“Cause I want you to stay into the flowery days
And I want you to love into the flowery days” - Flowery days

Images courtesy of Thea Moser


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