Stromae played nearly 150 dates in Europe in 2013 and 2014 and introduced himself across the continent in a successful 15-date North American tour in 2014.
Now Stromae and his team are back. Shows in North America, South America, Europe, and Africa are planned for this year: Stromae has said that “maybe” there will also be performances in Asia. But first, he kicks off the 2015 leg of the Racine Carrée tour in the USA, with 3 separate performances associated with the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, USA.
The first show of the 2015 Racine Carrée tour took place at The Spotify House in Austin on March 15. These posters were plastered all over the streets of Austin:
The Spotify House wasn’t an official SXSW venue, and the show was free to those who had RSVP’d. Iamclapclap was there and sent us the report below. She’s an American Stromae fan from Buffalo, New York who attended each of the 15 shows in Stromae’s 2014 North American tour. Find her at iamclapclap.tumblr.com.
Concert Report from Iamclapclap
When I arrived at Spotify House at 10:30 am, an hour before the venue opened, I was third in line. However, while the people directly in front and behind me had heard of Stromae, they weren’t there specifically to see him and weren’t even familiar with his music. But as the line started growing, I did talk to a few fans who were doing the same as me: arriving early and then staying at Spotify House all day to make sure we got a good place for Stromae’s show at 8 pm. Before they started letting people in, I saw a young girl dressed in a colorful shirt and a bowtie and carrying a homemade Stromae sign, in line with her mother.
During the day, most of the people I talked to weren’t Stromae fans, they were there for other bands or just the free party. Stromae would be playing for an audience that was mostly unfamiliar with his music. I spotted Michelle, a fan I’d met last year at Stromae’s Denver concert, and we spent most of the day reminiscing and enjoying the day’s activities. I looked around for the girl I’d seen in line, but I found out that the venue is 21+ only, so she wasn’t allowed to come in. I felt bad because she was clearly an enthusiastic fan. She’d made the sign and dressed up like Stromae, but then came to the show only to be turned away.
About 3 hours before showtime, Michelle and I got a spot at the front of the stage, and didn’t move. Several other fans had the same idea, and by the time Stromae’s crew started setting the stage, fans were several rows deep. Just before the show started, I looked back and saw a huge crowd, the biggest of any show that day. Regardless of whether they were familiar with his music or not, people knew that Stromae was the show to see that night. I don’t know what the official audience count was, but it looked to me like it was close to the venue’s capacity of 800.
Unfortunately, the show suffered several sound problems, especially with instruments cutting out randomly. But it didn’t matter to the crowd, who responded well to Stromae’s performance. And Stromae was in top form. His voice sounded great, as usual, and his dancing was as crazy and energetic as I’ve ever seen. And of course, he kept the audience laughing with his jokes, and insisting that we sing along and jump for songs like Ave Cesaria, Humain à l’eau, and Alors on danse. And no surprise, the audience loved it!
As we were leaving, a venue staffer told us this was the best audience he’d ever seen at any Spotify House concert. Considering that most of the crowd wasn’t familiar with him before the show, it appears that America may finally be ready for Stromae.
After the show, as we waited around to see if Stromae would greet fans, I saw the girl who’d been turned away earlier. She and her mother waited outside the venue all day, and were able to both hear and see the show! After a while, Stromae did come out, and she was able to meet him. Great end to a great day.
Many thanks to Iamclapclap for sharing this great concert report with us at Stromaeometre!
Here’s a video of “Formidable” recorded at the show:
And “Papaoutai” was the encore:
Cover photo credit: Iamclapclap