On a day when storm warnings left a danger of cancellation right up to show time Zaz once again proved that she is a stronger force of nature than any element the sky could throw at us on her third visit to Kunst!rasen.
There were two inherent dangers before the concert on Sunday by France’s favourite Chanson export. Firstly of course, would the show actually take place? And almost as decisive – given the regular visits, would it still attract a big audience?
When the gates actually opened at Kunst!Rasen it coincided with a shower of hailstones the size of golf-balls. I watched these bounce a metre into the air off the lawn in our garden and wondered how many people were at this minute also at their doorsteps considering a safe evening at home instead of at a concert (sometimes ‘Open Air’ can seem like a threat rather than a treat!).
Fast forward an hour and support act FM Laeti is singing in the sunshine. She hails from the French Island of Guadeloupe which before Columbus discovered it was known as the island of beautiful waters. It’s a calm motif at odds with an often heavy, bouncy, Soul-Rock sound that reminds at calmer moments of Amy Winehouse. There’s a strong percussive element to the music that’s maybe a little too high in the mix, but all in all worth braving the danger of a heavy shower to catch – and it looks like the sun will stay out, maybe…
Some 4000 people have decided that, come rain or shine, this is the place to be. There’s a longish wait in the photo-pit though whilst Dean Martin sings stylishly out from the speakers, and some concerned looks from Kunst!Rasen Chief Martin Nötzel as heavy grey clouds gather in what was the distance but soon becomes the sky above us. We need to get away from Bonn immediately – and a few seconds later we actually do, transported to France’s Capital City by France’s favourite bundle of energy… Zaz is in town!
When Zaz stands still for a moment there’s a chance to take in the furry animal motif’s on her dress. You don’t have the chance often of course as she dashes about with an impish grin and enthusiasm that you can almost feel energizing each band colleague when she looks their way, or runs her fingers through their hair (or over their bald head in the keyboard players case).
She has a lot of people onstage to energize too. The usual band around bass player Ilan Abou is complimented by a horn section, and later by additional male backing singers and duets with a guy who must remain unnamed because I can’t track him down anywhere. It’s almost a totally different show from those previous outings here, set around the latest Paris inspired CD so lots of new music but a few lost Zaz ‘classics’ have to be dropped. You win some/you lose some.
A change in the music, and also to some extent a change in the style, particularly for the last section of the show. The girl has definitely ‘all grown up’ and the cheers when she twirls round to reveal a bare back in a black sequined dress were almost as loud as those she got for ‘Je Veux’ in the past and indeed for a beautifully sung ‘La Lessive’ tonight.
Showers of rain had us sheltering under the drinks carousels. The trick was to see past the umbrellas to the stage. As long as Zaz was radiating her enthusiasm and energy, and her excellent entourage of musicians and singers were present, it was Paris in the Springtime rather than rainy Bonn in the Summer.
…MORE PHOTOS COMING SOON…