I like to think that the relationship between CocoRosie and I is like the story of a long friendship. The first contact was in 2005 during an over-excited gig and accompanied by a mystery guest, a guy relatively unknown at the time (a certain Devendra Banhart…). Then, a few lovely encounters at the Mad Vicky Tea Gallery.
Then it was the turn of the albums – The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn and Grey Oceans : interesting works, surely, but not as good as expected. Finally, I heard Tales of a Grass Widow, an album definitely superior compare to the previous two, and once again magic happened. I didn’t hesitate for a second when I had the chance to see them live at the magnificent Trianon.
When it comes to CocoRosie, there’s one thing that is undeniable: you never know what to expect during a concert! The visuals, the musicians on stage, the choice of songs are more often than not completely unforeseen! This time, the gig starts in the dark as the artists are wearing fluorescent make up (not exactly the best for us photographers…). The audience’s eyes are obviously following the Casady sisters and waiting for them to make a move. It’s Bianca who opens the bal and manages, once again, to raise the hairs in the back of my neck – in a good way!
I think that this is what makes the magic of CocoRosie. There’s a sort of a perfect balance between the two voices who complement each other flawlessly while they probably wouldn’t work as beautifully if separated. The more time passes, the more these two sisters have learned how to combine their vocal skills so as to create all kind of emotions and atmospheres. Harmelss Monster is a good example for this. Despite the gloomymoment at the beginning of the concert, the act then started to warm up a bit and, helped by an amazing human beatbox, CocoRosie lightens the room little by little before reaching climax during the song “Gravediggress” (a perfect combo of the two voices and an amazing vocal performance from Sierra).
Even though there are indeed some surprises on stage (a dancer/stripper, some electronic beats that keep the energy up), somehow the second part of the show kind of falls back to a less exciting level: maybe it’s because the public is (too?) attentive but not very inclined to dance. It’s surely not tonight that the room will turn into a massive dance floor…and it’s only with the very famous track “Smokey Tabboo” that the artists manage to wake the audience up and force them to move around a bit. Even though the tracks performed during the encore are slightly more animated, I will not get the outburst of energy that I was expecting from both the artists and the audience. Eh well. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t appreciated the gig, far from that! CocoRosie knows how to make good shows and its best quality is knowing how to spicy it up and take some risks. It’s a band that really feels like a happy group of friends and there’s some real cheerful spirit coming out from this little universe.
The only question I am left with… and please allow me to ask: how can you offer such great music and such awful album covers at the same time? Who knows. What I know for sure is that, after a few highs and lows in our long-term friendship, I am happily reconciled with this excellent band!
Thanks to Aymeric for his help!
Coco Rosie (Le Trianon – Paris – 05.28.2013)