Christine And The Queens Sydney Concert Review
Singer-songwriter Christine and the Queens took to the stage at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre last night to the sort of rapturous reception you’d expect from a stadium-filling pop star.
Two albums into her career, the French singer has amassed a loyal following: A fanbase that’s grown thanks to the undeniable strength of last year’s sophomore Chris, an album where the already androgynous star explored her own gender and sexuality, presenting as “Chris” rather than Christine
She’s a joy to watch perform, precisely because her own joy in performance is so evident. Songs like the G-funk strut of brilliant single Girlfriend — an early highlight of the show — become intense dance workouts on stage, Chris expertly leading her six-strong dance troupe.
Four songs in, she sets the rules for the show: Experiment, she tells us. Call her Christine, or call her Chris, if you like. Become someone else for the night. The cheers suggest everyone’s up for it.
By this time her bright red shirt has turned dark, drenched with sweat inside the hot and sticky Enmore Theatre.
Her dance style is some alluring hybrid of Kate Bush and Janet Jackson (to whom Chris pays tribute with a brief Nasty dance-off mid-show). Some songs are staged like a contemporary dance piece; others like a killer boy band performance.
One quibble: For an artist just two albums deep with a handful of hits to her name, this is an oddly top-heavy setlist. Breakthrough single Tilted — which caught so many eyes and ears thanks to her spectacular performances on British television, faithfully recreated here — would’ve made the perfect encore but is instead dispensed with in the first half-hour of the show.
Still, it’s a minor quibble when even the lesser-known songs are delivered so beautifully: Chris album highlight Goya Soda becomes a gripping dance duet with one of her troupe. The chemistry between them is palpable: cue more of those boy band-esque screams.
By show’s end, she’s drenched, torn her shirt (“It’s the sign of a great night”) and it’s half-hanging off her body.
Incredibly, she also offers up an apology for what she feels has been a lacklustre performance, explaining that a bout of hayfever has been playing havoc with her voice.
If that was a bad night …
Christine and the Queens’ Australian tour has now finished.