i had some apprehension about going to cocorosie, the last time i saw them i was not very happy about the show. they had a full band and a beatboxer with them. the beatboxer was distracting, and too loud in the mix. the band was sloppy, they never seemed to get it together and the show was a mess. in the end i decided to go, it helped that i like the aladdin theater. i was also lucky enough to have don accompany me.
when don and i got to the aladdin we were struck by the dress of the crowd, there were a lot of creative outfits. cocorosie seems to have accumulated and interesting collection of fans. we settled into some seats mid way through the opening act, katie stelmanis. they had an electro riot grrl sound, think sleater-kinney working with neu!. i enjoyed them. no need to own the records, but i would see them again.
as the time for cocorosie to come out came near, the sold out crowd headed toward the stage. don and i abandoned our seats and moved several rows up and had and excellent view. i could already feel that it was going to be a good show. the crowd seemed to be in a great mood, no matter what everyone was going to leave happy. the venue darkened and cocorosie walked on stage. at first it was just bianca and sierra, playing on a near black stage. they played two songs, i couldn’t tell you the names. they were operatic and reminded me of the first time i saw them. piano, modified toy samples and vocals. it was fantastic, and a great way to start the show.
the band, piano, bass and beatboxer, have a name but i don’t remember it. i’m pretty sure the beatboxer’s name is spleen. sierra was on the piano or harp, bianca manned a station of modified toys and samplers. they both contributed their own style of vocals, sierra’s operatic vocal skills sounded fantastic and filled the hall, bianca’s squeaky childlike hip-hop influenced cadence was just creepy enough. the acoustics of the aladdin really worked for them, to me the aladdin always contributes a “church hall” effect.
i couldn’t even come close to a set list. i recognised quite a few of the songs, i’ve never memorized coocrosie’s song titles. the new songs are stunning, and a great new direction for them. they’re getting a lot clearer in their vision of hip hop/opera/minimalist avant-garde. the current band set up is the best i’ve seen of them. the beatboxer was remarkable, he added such texture and rhythm, without ever being obtrusive. he performed a solo in one song that floored the crowd, it took about thirty seconds for the applause to start. the other members of the band were always on point with the rest, talented guys. they just didn’t stand out. for a group as creative as coocrosie, i was let down by the visuals. the lighting was competent, but the video was a collection of short clips only lasting 15-20 minutes total, projected on a screen most of the time. we probably watched the loop 5 or six times.
we left that night totally in love with cocorosie. and like i thought everyone left happy.