Sounds of Music

I Love Warsaw in December

As I might have mentioned, I have recently developed quite an obsession with the French singer minimalistically called Zaz. What started as an attempt to have more contact with the French language, soon overtook my listening habits and last.fm statistics. And so when in the middle of this mania I found out Zaz would be playing in Warsaw I had no choice but to blackmail R and go. (I didn’t need to blackmail him, truth be told, he agreed completely out of self-sacrificial impulses.)

The concert was so much fun! I didn’t even mind (very much) that it started late and without an apology. And I did spend that time standing in the crowd, listening to two ladies complaining about people on welfare and how they would ask for coal and not toys for Christmas (or something? it didn’t make a lot of sense). As soon as Zaz took over the stage, though, fun began. I more often than not go to concerts of artists whose names are so big it’s a wonder I can see them live (also, whose glory days happened forty years ago so it’s a double wonder) and so their very appearance is almost a spiritual experience. In other words, I don’t care so much whether they’re inclined to entertain me or mumble into the corner of the stage (love you, Dylan). Zaz, however, turned out to be a volcano of party energy. I guess she has experience working as a cabaret singer and probably all the public-involving techniques come from that but they worked pretty well. My main source of fun, however, came from the fact that listening so much to her as-yet limited repertoire, I knew all the songs and so enjoyed them all the more. In fact, you know that feeling when you go to a concert and you hope the band wouldn’t sing too many boring songs from the new album they’re promoting? For the first time I had an opposite feeling: I was sorry she limited the stuff from her newest Paris, even though the older songs were great, too.

She went through a whole array of styles and genres, including jazz, rock, pop and something Latino (I know nothing about those genres) and through as many as three outfits, so that the mood of the concert kept changing, making it even more exciting. Also, while I consider jazz something closely related to masturbation (in how mostly only those who perform it, seem to enjoy it), in the version of Zaz’s energetic band I actually liked it. The jazz, of course. Zaz even took into consideration how few people speak French outside of France (it’s very few, French people, deal with it) and she had whole bits of narration prepared in phonetic Polish. It even included a whole fable! Not a half-assed effort, that.

Even though I was exhausted from waiting for the show and the earlier long bus ride to get there, I still felt the concert could have lasted longer. That’s not to say that it was short but it had such good energy, you just wanted more of it. The anti-welfare lady did make sure everybody knew she didn’t understand French and she only liked the first album anyway, but most people seemed to love the concert. In fact, the ovation at the end was so long and enthusiastic that the band members seemed either fascinated or completely baffled (one of them even filmed the crowd). So, even though there was no “La Parisienne” (I always have a song missing from the set list), I’m so glad we ignored our duties and went to see the concert.

The next day we also saw a pretty embarrassing exhibition on free masonry and went shopping (we bought nothing) and had great dinner in a tourist-oriented restaurant (we embody uncoolness, you know); and on the ride home we watched a lot of Buffy. Altogether, fun weekend but it doesn’t make coming back to work any easier.

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