Indochina at the Stade de France. Credit: Laura Gilli
Ninety-seven thousand tickets sold! With the first of six shows of his Central Tour, This Saturday, May 21, Indochine broke the record for spectators, all disciplines combined (concerts, sporting events), since the inauguration of the Stade de France in 1998. This tour, which should have taken place in 2021 but was postponed due to pandemic, displays statistics that are beyond comprehension. But with the group of Nicola Sirkis, nothing could ever be explained rationally for a long time.
By the last concert of the Central Tour, July 3 at the Mauroy stadium (the only one for which there are still places), some 400,000 spectators will have seen the French formation celebrate its forty years of existence. The stage, placed in the middle of the lawn, has an area of 850 square meters. The tower from which fireworks are fired at the end of the three-hour total show rises to 45 meters high. It exceeds the roof of the stadium. Composed of 1,400 LED panels, the screen measures 2,500 square meters. It takes 250 technicians to ensure the proper functioning of the show as well as 950 people to set up (in five days) and dismantle (in two days). A crazy thing we tell you. Something crazy.
Master of the game
But the most exceptional thing is that Indochine never lets itself be eaten away by this impressive technology. From the beginning to the end of the concert, the group remains master of the game. Whether he performs with such an abundance of means or offers a free show without artifice as he did for his Belgian fans on the Grand-Place in Brussels on September 25, Indochine, it remains above all five guys who make rock. With guitars that must be retuned before each song, a human voice that can show its fragility, a stomach-piercing bass, slamming drums and dreamlike layers of keyboards. Indochine is a group that has had its ups and downs. Who observes the world as it has changed since May 10, 1981, the day of his first rehearsal and the accession to the Elysée of a certain François Mitterrand. It’s a group that makes no difference between girls and boys, for whom the generation gap does not exist and which has real ethics (in terms of ticket prices and reception of the public in particular). Indochine is a group which, without ever falling into the ” new cool “, survived everything and managed to impose hits that have accompanied our lives. Whether we like it or not, it is indisputable.
Christine & The Queens
The concert given this Saturday in Paris is a total spectacle. Total and unique. With a setlist of 23 songs, we of course heard Indo’s biggest hits: 3 nights a week, Your black eyes, College boy, Drugstar, Flowers for Salinger or The Adventurer . There were also songs that weren’t played much. We will thus cite Riding the Wheat Fields or The kiss. Particularly uplifted, Christine And The Queens came to sing Third Sex with Nicholas. Bearded and dressed like a castellan, Dimitri Bodianski, who took part in the Indochina adventure from 1981 to 1989, played the saxophone on the still relevant Dizzidence Politics, very first piece of Indochina. Lou Sirkis, daughter of his missing twin brother Stef played guitar on this same track. Even more unlikely, the French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky pushed his lyrical voice on College Boy while the Republican Guard was invited with a march in rhythm, polished brass and protocol uniform for three pieces, including a particularly moving version of I asked the moon.
The central configuration also offers a unique point of view. We follow the group from the front, but also from behind, from the side. Nicola and the musicians continually change places and occupy the entire space. If certain pieces must be executed with a precise timing to stick to the play of lights or the projected images, others leave windows open to respond to the inspirations of the instrumentalists or the reactions of the public. It’s still very rock in the sounds as evidenced in particular by the energetic versions of Punishment Park, well named On the Assault (Shadows on the O)d’Alice & June or evenA French summer…
There was a lot of emotion and, always, those little words and gestures that make the difference. As will be the case for all the dates of this Central Tour, Indochine has thus invited nursing staff to the Stade de France. He also paid tribute in two sober sentences to Ukraine and to the anonymous disappeared from the Covid. On screen and in its choruses, the group recalled that the harassment was not only sexual and did not target only girls. It celebrated the LGBT and + community with beautiful color effects. He sang forbidden loves. He showed a sometimes dark romanticism all his own. He celebrated life. We will not reveal everything, to surprise the tens of thousands of Belgians who will join the Pierre Mauroy stadium on July 2 and 3. But know that every time you think it’s over, that you’ve seen and heard everything, there’s a rabbit coming out of the hat.
July 2 (full) and July 3 (ticket office still open) at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, Lille. https://indo.fr