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Christine and the Queens become Boston Calling Royalty

Music Reviews :: 05.29.16
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Christine and the Queens performing at Boston Calling spring 2016. Photo by Ross Ketschke

By Suzie Hicks:

Self titled French FreakPop group Christine and the Queens started off their performance at Boston Calling strong with a heavy beat, and took it from there. The group was started by lead singer Héloïse Letissier in 2012, and since has released six EPs, as well as three albums. Christine brings her eclectic artistic talents into her performance, incorporating elements beyond song and dance to include drawing, photography, and video.

Naming the band after experiencing drag queen culture, Letissier has dedicated many of her performances to the queer and transgender community. Letissier herself identifies as pansexual, and has become a role model for those who feel they do not belong—emulated through a tattoo on her wrist that simply says: “We Accept You”.

During the performance, it was hard for crowd members to decide whether to let loose and dance to the stirring beats or stand still and watch the elaborate choreography going on stage. Letisser immediately took control of the stage in her grey fitted pant-suit as she began her movement-heavy set. Backed by her “queens,” four male dancers in similar outfits, she recreated an almost Michael Jackson-eque vibe as she grooved around the stage, altering between belting impressive notes and seamlessly slipping into the choreography that surrounded her. Her theatre-education shone through as she brought an extra degree of intensity and expression to the choreography and musicality of the performance, adding extreme facial expressions and personality to every note she sang and every move she made.

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Christine and the queens at Boston Calling – 2016. Photo by Ross Ketschke

The band opened with “It,” a song with a feel-it-in-your-ribcage bass, and continued to engage the crowd with their charisma during and in between songs. She warned the audience before her mashup of Kanye West’s number “Heartless” that it would be weird, and then acknowledged that the crowd already probably thought she was weird. The band continued on to play their hit “Tilted,” with the queens performing incredible balancing acts around her as she sang about the desire to fit in. During the number, the singer alternated between expressive vocals and intricate choreography without batting an eyelid—a transition that made audience members go crazy. She continued to wow the audience when she rapped in french before randomly bursting into a dance break from acclaimed pop song “Pump Up the Jam”.

The most memorable moment of the entire concert, however, occurred right before the last song in the set, “The Loving Cup,” she took a bouquet of flowers and compared the blossoms to prominent women in pop music, stating that every flower has the right to blossom in their field, and spoke on her hope that everyone will find the way to let themselves blossom. Through this, Letisser proved that not only is she talented, she is also hilarious, brave, and kindhearted.

She ended the concert with the hashtag #AngryFrenchGirl, and left the crowd yelling “YES QUEEN,” a statement clearly relevant to her nam

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