"It’s a safe space for everybody – men, women and everyone in-between"
Christine And The Queens on the first of her two-night stretch at Hammersmith Apollo
TWITTER. CATQ 2018.
This week saw the return of Christine And The Queens – now simply known by her andro stage name, Chris.
Once known for her long locks and iconic power suit, 2018 hasn’t come without change for the French pop star.
Experiencing what can only be described as an "artistic glow up", featuring less hair and even less time to comply to societies idealistic standards for a conventional female pop star, Chris owned the stage throughout her entire 100-minute performance.
"By 20 I was walking around like this," she tells the crowd, drastically mimicking a hunched stance, representative of her carrying the heavy weight of trying to fit in.
Evidently those days are long gone. This performance saw Chris, backed by five dancers, effortlessly working her way across the stage without a care in the world, exuding confidence and raw power.
Her dancing, now equally as important as her singing, played a great part. Taking an obvious influence from Michael Jackson in more than one way, Chris burst into the lyrics of Man In The Mirror mid-way through her performance, much to the delight of the crowd.
A mixture of both old and new music saw approval from all audience members. The likes of Girlfriend and Tilted causing the greatest reactions, including one fan throwing bright pink underwear on stage – much to the amusement of Chris who stuffed them in her pocket with a smirk.
Here, originally featuring French rapper Boba, was performed as a solo in a single spotlight and struck a particular chord with me.
The fast pace movements of her dance routines meant that her button up shirt had fallen off a few songs prior and, sporting only a black bra and trousers, now she stood in the centre of the stage, back to the audience and gracefully twisted her arms to the strings of the backing track as though she was physically evolving in front of our very eyes.
The reaction I had to this rendition surprised me – I was barely able to see through my own tears at the end (perhaps I'm a "fan girl" after all...)
The night ended with Chris talking down from the balcony, although “no Juliet". A standing ovation, even from her seated audience, spoke for the general opinion of the night, incomparably raw and gritty, evoking some sort of emotional response from each spectator in the room.
Be it overwhelmed tears of joy that I never knew I had in me, or high-pitched squeals from the couple sat two rows in front as the first notes from the walker played, I believe Chris’s words to be true.
For just a few hours, this venue truly was a safe space for all including children no older than six eagerly being lifted by their parents to get a closer look, elderly lovers clasping a glass of wine and numerous LGBTQ+ couples – perhaps unsurprisingly.
All shared one thing in common howver, a love for Chris's music, and for this reason the mixed crowd did not feel so different at all.
The performance was one I will never forget, nothing quite compares to seeing the artist you listen to daily in the flesh and I'm already searching the internet for resale tickets for the second performance tonight... but I suppose that is why she is performing two nights.
The people want Chris, and in her strongest and freest state, Chris is what they’ll get.
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