04 June 2012

Très Magnifique - Zaz in Zagreb

I am no official music critic. My knowledge of the art is based on 8 years of piano lessons. When I listen to music I tend not to analyze it too much, I simply let myself "sink" into it and enjoy. I go to concerts only when I really care about the performing artist and its music, and I want to see if there is a new level on which that music can affect me. I don't feel like swimming in a sweat pool for someone that I listen to now and then, and just think of his music as "ok, when it randomly pops up on the radio" kind of music.

I "discovered" Zaz when I was in Paris with Iva, Eblouie Par La Nuit was the theme song of our trip. I found them refreshing, their way of playing had something more to it than just merely producing tones, the interpretation was amazing, and their beginnings as street performers certainly added a special touch. The way they are playing with their instruments and the way she plays with her voice while performing shows me how much they are enjoying themselves while playing and they spread that happiness everybody there, including me (and I like to feel happiness and positivity :) ).

Zaz held concerts in Ljubljana and Beograd before they came to Zagreb. My Facebook news feed frequently showed statuses saying how amazing the concert was. Still, I didn't want to look at YouTube clips, I didn't want to know what will be waiting for me at the concert hall. I got my ticket four months ago and I was anxious to go to the concert. I expected the concert to be nice and cozy, nothing wild.

It was nothing like I expected. It was nothing I could even imagine it would be! It was the most amazing concert I have ever been to! She started singing Les Passants out of the spotlight, no one could see her and when she jumped out in the light, it was like a big energy bomb dropped. She was able to emit such a positive, exhilarating energy that carried the crowd through the whole concert! Jumping around on the stage with a big smile and the wild curly hair made every person in the hall want to do just the same. Everywhere I looked people were smiling, there wasn't a grim face anywhere.

Their performance consisted not only from their songs, but some parts were just Isabelle Geffroy and her wonderful and powerful voice making sounds that were unheard until then. Pure improvisation that sounded incredible. I was astonished what she could do with her voice. The songs from their album were nothing like the studio recorded songs, they were million times better! They mixed and changed them, giving something new and unheard to every song they played. And then, Isabelle started speaking Croatian! She managed to say stuff in Croatian really well, which was probably really hard for her since French and Croatian are nothing alike! I must congratulate her on the effort and it made the crowd love her even more! In my opinion that was the best way she could say thank you to us and show appreciation for the people in the audience.

Before Dans Ma Rue she invited a girl named Irena, who spoke French, to the stage and asked her to translate what she is about to say. She told us to close our eyes, imagine ourselves in Paris, in Paris what it looked like about 30 years ago, everyone is aging between 6 and 20, the times are very hard for us, but we have something no one can take away from us – our great, great creativity, we are standing on the cobblestone road, it is 4 AM and we can smell the fresh bread from the bakeries...and then she started singing. Luckily I have read the translations of her songs before, so I could really enjoy that song and her intro couldn't be any better. Through the song I just kept my eyes closed and continued to imagine the pictures which she sang about.

Not only did the band mix the songs, they mixed genres in the most unexpected ways. There were even parts where they started to play truly amazing rock, and her voice could take it all. I found myself literally jumping around as they played the rock parts, it felt so good! It could be that the street beginnings, that I mentioned earlier, made them able to surprise the listeners, pulling them deeper with every new song. I think it left a certain mark on their style, which is really refreshing in this overflow of mainstream bands. They are playing what they want to play and not what they think the crowd may like and that is the only right way for any artist. They truly are artists, giving us the possibility to experience the songs the way they were meant to be experienced when composed.

She even sang I'm so excited from The Pointer Sisters. There were moments that I wasn't even sure which language was she speaking, French, English or Croatian, and not because of the pronunciation, but because I didn't know what to expect. No one did. Unfortunately the concert had to come to an end, but the crowd stayed, no one even made a move towards the exit. We just kept yelling and screaming for them to come back, so, after a few minutes, they did and awarded us with three more songs. Everyone could feel their satisfaction with the given performance and I think that is the most important. To see artists really enjoying their work!

There is so much more I could tell you about the concert, but the post would get really, really long, I just have to mention two more things that were just adorable! As the end was getting closer, Isabelle was so excited about the response of the crowd that she asked a little girl in the front row (judging by her voice, she could be eleven years old tops) to translate. Translation of her words in child voice had such an amazing impact! She told us that we are incredible and that we should remember there is one thing no one can ever take from us and that is our creativity! I completely agree with that and think it was wonderful that she said it. And the second adorable thing was that Iva poked me at one point, and pointed her finger towards the sitting area. There was a little girl with a giant smile on her face jumping happily with the big paper that said Zaz on it. I found it so adorable that I just couldn't finish the post without mentioning her :) Oh and as I googled some stuff about her now and I just saw that she is born on the first of May just like I am! Hihi, I can see that Taurus energy in her ;)

If they ever release a video record of the concert I will be the first one to buy it! No, not download it, buy it! ;)

And at the end, I give you my favorite song, La Fee:

and a part of the atmosphere from the concert:

All photos are taken by Ivica Drusany, big thanks for that, this post wouldn't be as good without photos! :) We encourage you to visit his page: http://foto.drusany.com/

Much love,

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