Nouvelle Vague at Rockefeller

Photo: Sadan Ekdemir
An enjoyable concert with a superb song selection.

Vurdering

Nouvelle Vague at Rockefeller: 5/6Karakter 5

The idea of covering rock songs was not an invention of Nouvelle Vague. For many years, rock and pop bands borrowed original songs from blues and jazz musicians and imprinted their own style. At some point, some jazz bands did the opposite, and started to create “digestible” versions of rock music for your aunt and uncle.

Nouvelle Vague took this idea 15 years ago and became a world success. Their solid formula consists of choosing – with superb taste- rock anthems from the 70s and 80s and imprint into them their characteristic style. In my opinion, their greatest achievement has been to ensure that their cover versions are not reminiscent to the easy-to-listen covers that would be played in an elevator or a doctor’s office.  

Elegance

Unforgettable lyrics and tunes are turned with grace into mirthful melodies.

Nouvelle Vague band presented themselves in the Rockefeller stage on Sunday night using a melodramatic background. On stage, the leaders of the band Oliver Libaux and his acoustic guitar and Marc Collin with organ and samples, accompanied by a second organ. After them appeared the two current singers, Elodie Frégé and Melanie Pain, walking in a slow rhythm following “Fade to Grey” (Visage) instrumentals. French, elegant, and with sixties vibe, the two singers used castanets and a melodica to play along the first song of the night.    

Soon after they started their second song, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (New Order), it was easy to notice that they are enjoying themselves on the stage. The impeccable selection of songs quickly connects with the audience. Unforgettable lyrics and tunes are turned with grace into mirthful melodies. After 15 years playing covers, they keep improving them and playing with their own previous versions, as they showed with “I wanna be Sedated” (the Ramones).

Audience interaction. Photo: Sadan Ekdemir
Memorable songs

Their solid formula consists of choosing – with superb taste- rock anthems from the 70s and 80s and imprint into them their characteristic style. In my opinion

They moved on to “Too Drunk to Fuck” (Dead Kennedys) and guitarist Olivier Libaux seems to be geniuinely enjoying covering all these classics once more. Elodie and Melanie swap their turn on the mic while Libaux and Collin show a high level of synchronicity and mastery with their instruments. They had a solid show and performed memorable songs such as  “Human Fly” (The Cramps), which was particularly Crampy and halloween-like, “The Guns of Brixton” (The Clash), and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Joy Division).

Clapping while the band’s playing Joy Division, the crowd was left quite engaged and during the break they were quite cheerful asking for the return of the band. Nouvelle Vague pleased them and played a few more songs,  “The Killing Moon” (Echo & the Bunnymen), «La pluie et le beau temps» from their I Could Be Happy album and “In a Manner of Speaking” (Tuxedomoon), performed greatly by Libaux, Collin and Pain. It was a short and sweet presentation that lightened the mood of all the attendants while brought them memories of great songs.

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